Together, we can make a difference
Guided by the principles of the 1994 International Conference on Population
and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action and the ICPD review process
(ICPD+5), UNFPA supports prevention of HIV infection as an integral
component of reproductive health. The reproductive health approach to
HIV prevention provides an appropriate entry-point for the implementation
of HIV interventions. HIV/AIDS has never been higher on the international
agenda, not only as a public health and development issue, but also
as a security issue. In the worst-effected countries, the demographic
impact of AIDS threatens to wipe out the hard-won gains of the last
30 years in terms of health status and life expectancy.
Girls and women are most vulnerable to HIV infection given the social
and economic disadvantages they face in their day-to-day lives. Recent
data show that there are an estimated 12 women living with HIV for every
10 men in many countries around the world. Experience shows that the
burden of caring for entire families falls increasingly on the shoulders
of women as AIDS continues to devastate families and communities. Adolescents
are at high risk of HIV infection, as they tend to engage in risk-taking
behaviour and their access to preventive information is generally limited.
Further efforts must be made to empower women and girls and create a
space for female decision-making in private as well as public life.
National goals and global imperatives are best met by satisfying the
rights, needs and aspirations of individual children, adolescents, women,
and men. The success stories included in this report serve as an important
reminder of the power of committed and focused multilateral partnerships.
There is still much work ahead of us. It is only through large-scale
cooperation that we can meet the substantial health and development
challenges, including that posted by the HIV pandemic.
Dr Nafis Sadik