UNAIDS Executive Director Criticizes African Governments for ‘Doing Little’ in Fight Against HIV/AIDS
During Monday's session of the African Development Forum 2000, UNAIDS Executive Director Dr. Peter Piot criticized African governments for "doing little" to safeguard young people from contracting HIV/AIDS, Reuters reports. "Despite the United Nations target of reducing HIV in young people by 25% by the year 2010, there are too many countries where a majority of sexually active teenagers do not know the basics of transmission of HIV/AIDS," he said. Piot pointed out that Uganda, Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia and Senegal are the only African countries to have implemented "effective anti-HIV/AIDS policies." Although the number of new infections on the continent dropped this year from last year, Piot warned that "there was no room for complacency," and said African governments needed to free up more resources to fight the epidemic. "The problem of HIV/AIDS is a matter of survival; no economic planning that does not incorporate the HIV/AIDS factor would succeed," Piot said. U.N. Development Program Administrator Malloch Brown added that Africa needs international help to raise the estimated $3 billion necessary to fund both HIV/AIDS prevention programs and treatment for those infected with the virus. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan will deliver the keynote address of the five-day conference later this week. The outcome of the African Development Forum 2000 will be presented to an African summit on HIV/AIDS slated to be held in Nigeria early next year (Reuters, 12/4).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.