Author: M. G.
Yesterday UNAIDS released its annual report. Good news: globally the deaths for AIDS dropped by one third to 1.6 million in the last ten years and the infections in sub-Saharan countries are dropped 34 per cent in same period of time. Bad news: this region still consists of the 70% of new infections every year and the condom use there is falling. Plus, the evidence of the rise of individuals having multiple sex-partners.
The condom use and the condom distribution in African countries is a delicate issue. My mentor Ayke is following a forum for young people on Avert.com and we had a conversation about the fact that an African user of the forum reported that it is not easy to find condoms in his region. Moreover, if you find them, the quality of the material is poor. This is an example that shows what is the kind of problem affecting the good results already achieved in these areas.
The annual report has also highlighted two other important facts: firstly the rising infection rate in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. For example, HIV/AIDS in Indonesia is one of Asia's fastest growing epidemics (UNAIDS, 2009): there the high-social stigma causes an extremely low rate of diagnosed infection - 5-6% of the total! This is the reason why of DAA's project in Bali, spreading awareness in this region of the world is essential for things to change.
Secondly, the little achievement in reducing infections among drug users while in some countries they represent a sizable components of the national HIV epidemic.
Condom distribution and prevention among drug users are problems that western countries have already solved years ago. This does not mean that the problem was solved in the rest of the world.
Nonetheless, in 2001 UN member countries adopted the Millennium Development Goals with the ambition of curbing the epidemic for 2015 and a lot has already been done. Still, the work to do is long and complex therefore innovative strategies - like DAA creative way - can have an impact and need to be further developed.