A global emergency: a combined response
This chapter outlines the current state of the global HIV/AIDS pandemic and explains why an international response is needed. It describes some of the tragic social and economic consequences of the disease, including its destructive impact on health systems. The response must embrace prevention, support, treatment and long-term care. Together, these components can effectively combat the seemingly inexorable progress of HIV/AIDS epidemics, offering the worst-affected countries and populations their best hope of survival. Comprehensive action will accelerate progress towards all the Millennium Development Goals while offering an opportunity to help strengthen health systems.