UNFPA Releases Survey Showing HIV/AIDS Threatens To Impede Progress on Sexual, Reproductive Health Goals
The United Nations Population Fund on Monday released a new global survey, titled "Investing In People," showing that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is threatening to impede sexual and reproductive health goals established at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, the AP/CBSNews.com reports (Fowler, AP/CBSNews.com, 6/21). The plan as approved at the conference aims to fight poverty throughout the world by focusing on 12 areas, including family planning, gender equality and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment (Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report, 12/18/02). UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Obaid said that HIV/AIDS has taxed health services in many developing countries, resulting in more women dying during pregnancy and childbirth, according to the AP/CBSNews.com. The survey -- which includes information from 169 countries about the steps they have taken to implement the 1994 plan -- says that approximately 500,000 women in developing countries die during pregnancy or childbirth. Obaid said that many developing countries cannot afford to train obstetric specialists or midwives, and 120 million women worldwide do not have access to contraception or family planning services, according to the AP/CBSNews.com (AP/CBSNews.com, 6/21). However, Obaid said there has been a "significant amount of progress" since the 1994 conference, adding, "The challenge during the next 10 years is to build on this progress and ensure that investments reach the poorest segments of the population, especially women and young people." More than 90% of countries included in the survey have incorporated family planning and "safe motherhood" programs into their health systems, according to a UNFPA release. In addition, many of the countries included in the survey have established national AIDS commissions and programs to fight the disease, according to the release (UNFPA release, 6/21).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.