Friday, June 03, 2005

U.N. Chief Says AIDS Epidemic Accelerating

Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Thursday warned that the AIDS epidemic is accelerating on every continent and called for more money and leadership to halt its spread by the U.N. target date of 2015.

In an opening address to representatives of 127 countries at a high-level conference, Annan said the scale of the global response to the scourge of AIDS has been significant, but insufficient because "it has not matched the epidemic in scale."

"Last year saw more new infections and more AIDS-related deaths than ever before," he said. "Indeed, HIV and AIDS expanded at an accelerating rate on every continent."

Treatment and prevention efforts also were insufficient, Annan said.

"Only 12 percent of the people in need of antiretroviral therapies in low- and middle-income countries were receiving them. And while young people -- especially young women -- account for more than half of all new infections , most of the world's young people still lacked meaningful access to youth-oriented prevention services," he said.


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