Year in review: UNAIDS in 2007
19 December 2007
2007 has been an exciting year for UNAIDS particularly in the fields of research and monitoring and evaluation. Results from new studies were announced early in the year providing evidence that male circumcision can reduce the risk of HIV infection in men by up to 60%; and new and improved data gathering and methodology was used to produce revised estimates for HIV which showed that the global number of people living with HIV was significantly lower than previous estimates indicated.
Political leaders also stepped up to the table in 2007 with announcements from the G8 leaders of a projected $US 60 billion investment in AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and a call from the US President to double the current funding for President Bush’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief to reach US$ 30 billion over five years.
A number of regional AIDS conference were held in 2007 giving each region an opportunity to put AIDS high on the agenda and examine their epidemics in depth. These conferences also provided a platform for participants to share ideas and strategies for moving the regional AIDS response forward.
Universal access and in particular HIV prevention have been a much talked about topics this year with UNAIDS and partners launching an e-forum on HIV prevention in southern and eastern Africa, the release of the UNAIDS 'Practical Guidelines for Intensifying HIV Prevention', the meeting of the reference group on HIV prevention and a call to intensify HIV prevention, all of which are highlighted in the ‘Year in review’.
Below are some of the highlights and key events which took place in 2007.
|UNAIDS Policy Brief : HIV and Sex between men|
Country and regional consultations have confirmed that stigma, discrimination and criminalization faced by men who have sex with men are major barriers to the movement for universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. UNAIDS has released a policy brief which outlines recommendations required to try and overcome these barriers.
|Be smart – protect yourself|
German football star and UNAIDS Special Representative Michael Ballack has featured in a public service announcement on AIDS, speaking out on HIV prevention and urging young people to make the smart choices.
|HIV and refugees|
Conflict, persecution and violence affect millions of people worldwide, forcing them to uproot their lives. Refugees are those who flee their country of origin across national borders, often to a neighbouring country. UNAIDS in collaboration with UNHCR have developed a policy brief that focuses specifically on actions required to prevent and mitigate the effect of HIV on refugees and their host communities.
|Male circumcision and HIV: a web special series|
Male circumcision is one of the world’s oldest surgical practices; carvings depicting circumcisions have been found in ancient Egyptian temples dating as far back as 2300 BC. New research has produced evidence which shows that circumcision can reduce the risk of HIV infection in men by up to 60%. Read the three part special on HIV and male circumcision.
|UNAIDS releases 'Practical Guidelines for Intensifying HIV Prevention'|
UNAIDS has released Practical Guidelines for Intensifying HIV Prevention: Towards Universal Access to assist policy makers and planners in countries to strengthen their national HIV prevention response.
|Responsibility and Partnership: Together against HIV/AIDS|
Representatives of 27 European Union and neighbouring countries met in Bremen, Germany to discuss ways of strengthening political leadership in the response to AIDS. Over 600 people attended the 2007 European AIDS Conference which was organised by the German Federal Government in its capacity as current President of the European Union.
|Together against TB and HIV|
The lethal combination of TB and HIV was highlighted on this year’s World TB Day on 24th March. The weakened immune system caused by HIV makes people living with HIV at greatly increased risk of developing TB disease. TB is a leading cause of death among people living with HIV. UNAIDS, WHO and the Stop TB Partnership have pledged to work together to fight against these deadly viruses.
|Treatment figures reach 2 million|
WHO, UNAIDS and UNICEF have launched a new report on scaling up priority AIDS interventions in the health sector.
|IV Latin American and Caribbean Forum on HIV/AIDS|
The IV Latin American and Caribbean Forum on HIV/AIDS and STD’s opened in Buenos Aires on 17 April under the theme "Latin America and the Caribbean: United in diversity towards universal access".
|E-forum gets HIV prevention online|
A new electronic discussion forum (e-form) on ‘accelerating HIV prevention’, launched by UNAIDS and partners in southern and eastern Africa, encourages people to get online to debate, share knowledge and build partnerships on HIV prevention issues.
|UN General Assembly meets on AIDS |
At the 61st session of the General Assembly, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon confirmed his support to the AIDS response promising to ensure that the international community remains united against the epidemic.
|Injecting drug use: focused HIV prevention works|
Drug users not only face physical risks of HIV infection, they are also vulnerable to HIV because of their social and legal status. Illegal in many countries, drug use is punishable by incarceration and is highly stigmatized, which further marginalizes people with drug dependence problems. As a consequence, injecting drug users are often not able or willing to access HIV services for fear of recrimination.
UN Plus– the UN system-wide group of staff living with HIV– met with the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to brief him on the key achievements of the group since its inception in March 2005 and to discuss the opportunities and challenges and limitations that UN positive staff face at work.
|UNAIDS welcomes call for $30 billion to the AIDS response|
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) applauds the announcement by United States President George Bush regarding his intention to extend and expand the U.S. government’s investment in the global AIDS response.
|HIV testing and counselling: new guidance|
WHO and UNAIDS issued new guidance on informed, voluntary HIV testing and counselling in the world's health facilities on Wednesday 30 May, with a view to significantly increasing access to needed HIV treatment, care support and prevention services.
|Scaling up through partnerships|
Donors, AIDS experts and implementers from around the world have gathered in Kigali, Rwanda to attend the 2007 HIV/AIDS Implementers’ Meeting.
|Call to intensify HIV prevention|
In a new report released on HIV prevention, a panel of leading AIDS experts calls for a major increase in global HIV prevention programs, citing new projections that expanded access to prevention could avert approximately 30 million of the 60 million HIV infections expected to occur by 2015.
|2.5 million people living with HIV in India|
As part of its continuous efforts to know its epidemic better, India’s National AIDS Control Organisation, supported by UNAIDS, has used data from the expanded surveillance system and a new population-based survey to produce more accurate estimates of the AIDS epidemic in India.
|Hope for street children|
Street children in Cairo, are at a far higher risk of exposure to HIV than children who have a stable home life. Workers at the Hope Village Society, an organisation looking after Cairo’s street children, have been working with UNICEF and UNAIDS to incorporate AIDS awareness in their educational programmes.
|New Blog gets HIV science online|
For the latest news, views and reviews on HIV coverage in the scientific literature – log on to HIV this week!
8th International congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific
The 8th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP) took place in Colombo, Sri Lanka on from 19 - 24 August. The conference brought together more than 3,000 delegates from around 60 countries to discuss critical issues on AIDS in the region such as stigma and discrimination, access to HIV prevention and treatment and the importance of sustained political commitment on AIDS.
|The process behind AIDS estimates|
As part of continuing efforts to gain a better understanding of the AIDS epidemic, UNAIDS and WHO have taken a series of measures to improve the estimation process. Countries have been encouraged to expand their data collection methods, methodology used to analyse this new data has been improved and a series of workshops have been held to train people in countries in the complex process of estimating the AIDS epidemic. This process is resulting in more concise estimations and a better understanding of how epidemics are evolving.
|Promoting sport and HIV prevention|
”LoveLife, together with the ICC, UNAIDS, UNICEF and the Kaiser Family Foundation, have joined together in a unique partnership to highlight the situation of children and young people living with and affected by HIV through the global game of cricket.
|Financial resource requirements for AIDS|
UNAIDS has produced a new report on the estimated financial resources required for the AIDS response to achieve the goal of universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.
|Progress and challenges for Botswana|
In a joint mission, UNICEF Executive Director Ann Veneman, UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot and Dr Tadatakai Yamada, President of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Health Programme visited Botswana to gain a shared perspective of the progress and challenges facing the country in its AIDS response.
|“Overwhelming and Inspiring”|
Rupert Everett, the film and theatre actor (My Best Friend’s Wedding, Another Country), and Special Representative of UNAIDS visited Moscow and St Petersburg 23 – 26 September, to learn more about AIDS and tuberculosis in Russia and to help raise awareness about these two important, inter-linked diseases.
The 5th Central American Congress on HIV was held in Managua, Nicaragua, from 4-9 November. Over 1,500 participants attended the Congress including representatives from governments, the United Nations, people living with HIV, women’s organizations, religious groups and the private sector.
|Concern over Criminalization of HIV Transmission|
Several countries have recently introduced laws to criminalise HIV transmission, or exposing another person to the virus. A number of jurisdictions have used general laws against serious bodily harm in cases where someone is accused of knowingly transmitting HIV or willingly exposing others to HIV transmission.
First Global Parliamentary Meeting on AIDS
The First Global Parliamentary Meeting on HIV/AIDS was opened on Wednesday 28 November in Manila by Mr Manny Villar, President of the Senate of the Philippines. UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Michel Sidibe gave one of the key note speeches, highlighting the important role parliamentarians have to play in the global response to the epidemic.
|AIDS on the agenda at Commonwealth Heads meeting|
UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director Deborah Landey visited Kampala, Uganda from 16-17 November. In addition to meeting with various leaders in Uganda’s AIDS response from government and civil society, Dr Landey participated in a plenary session at the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting (GHOGM), which was taking place in Kampala during her visit.
|International consultation on AIDS estimates: Recommendations|
An International Consultation on AIDS Epidemiological Estimates, convened jointly by the UNAIDS Secretariat and WHO, was held on 14-15 November 2007 in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting brought together more than 30 technical experts and country epidemiologists from around the world to review the current processes and methodologies used by UNAIDS and WHO to produce HIV estimates at the country, regional and global level.
|AIDS epidemic update 2007|
The 2007 AIDS epidemic update reports on the latest developments in the global AIDS epidemic. The 2007 edition provides the most recent estimates of the AIDS epidemic and explores new findings and trends in the epidemic’s evolution.
|World AIDS Day 2007|
This year's World AIDS Day theme – leadership – reminds us that, from government leaders to individuals, we all have a leadership role to play in the AIDS response and we are all accountable for the promises made. On 1 December UNAIDS participated in events around the globe to commemorate this special day of remembrance and hope.
|Meeting ethical concerns over HIV trials|
In the first of a special three-part web series, www.unaids.org looks at the state of research into new HIV prevention technologies, the ethical debates around the issue, and the steps that have been taken to answer the concerns. The question of HIV trials, and in particular the involvement of women and adolescent girls in them, will be the subject of a two-day conference being hosted by UNAIDS in Geneva December 10-11.
|More than words: ART for AIDS|
World AIDS day 2007 marked the first anniversary of the UNAIDS’ Art for AIDS collection—an art collection created to recognize the role art has played in the response to AIDS. In a special three-part series, www.unaids.org tells the story of the collection, and the artists who helped create it.
|Updated look and enhanced features for www.unaids.org|
Welcome to the refreshed UNAIDS web site! We are delighted to introduce a new-look design, restructured navigation for the site and a host of new features including a live newsfeed from UNAIDS Cosponsors, the new ‘Knowledge Centre’ and the new ‘Multimedia Centre’. We hope this enables you to find the information you need more easily. We invite you to browse the refreshed site and welcome your feedback.