MDG 6: combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

Updated December 2014

Target 6A. Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS

Target 6B. Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it.


HIV prevention in Africa

At the end of 2013, 35 million people were living with HIV. That same year, some 2.1 million people became newly infected. Close to 12 million people in low- and middle-income countries were receiving antiretroviral therapy at the end of 2013. More than two-thirds of new HIV infections are in sub-Saharan Africa.

As the world moves towards reaching the target date for the Millennium Development Goals, WHO is working with countries to implement the Global Health Sector Strategy on HIV/AIDS for 2011-2015. WHO has identified six operational objectives for 2014–2015 to support countries most efficiently in moving towards the global HIV targets. These are to support:

  • strategic use of ARVs for HIV treatment and prevention;
  • eliminating HIV in children and expanding access to paediatric treatment;
  • an improved health sector response to HIV among key populations;
  • further innovation in HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care;
  • strategic information for effective scale up; and
  • stronger links between HIV and related health outcomes.
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Target 6C. Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases


Group of children running

Around the world, 3.2 billion people are at risk of contracting malaria. In 2013, an estimated 198 million cases occurred, and the disease killed approx. 584 000 people – most of them children under five in Africa. On average, malaria kills a child every minute.

WHO-recommended strategies to tackle malaria include:

  • prevention with long-lasting insecticidal nets and indoor residual spraying;
  • diagnostic testing and treatment with quality-assured anti-malarial medicines;
  • preventive therapies for infants, children and pregnant women;
  • tracking every malaria case in a surveillance system;
  • scaling up the fight against emerging drug and insecticide resistance.

In a 2007 resolution, the World Health Assembly called for a 75% reduction in the global malaria burden by 2015.

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There were an estimated 9 million new cases of TB in 2013(including 1.1 million cases among people with HIV) and an estimated 1.5 million deaths (including 360 000 people with HIV), making this disease one of the world's biggest infectious killers.

The world is on track to reach the MDG target of reversing TB incidence by 2015. However incidence is falling very slowly. WHO is working to combat the epidemic through the Stop TB Strategy. This six-point strategy seeks to:

  • 1. pursue high-quality DOTS expansion and enhancement; DOTS is a five-point package to
    • a. secure political commitment, with adequate and sustained financing
    • b. ensure early case detection, and diagnosis through quality-assured bacteriology
    • c. provide standardized treatment with supervision and patient support
    • d. ensure effective drug supply and management and
    • e. monitor and evaluate performance and impact;
  • address TB/HIV, multidrug-resistant TB and the needs of poor and vulnerable populations;
  • contribute to health system strengthening based on primary health care;
  • engage all care providers;
  • empower people with TB, and communities through partnership; and
  • enable and promote research.
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