U.N. High Level Meeting On AIDS Declaration Sets New Targets In Fight Against Disease

World leaders on Friday at the U.N. High Level Meeting on AIDS adopted by consensus a declaration stating that HIV is “an unprecedented human catastrophe” and set new targets in the fight against the disease, the Associated Press/Forbes reports.

The declaration commits the U.N.’s 192 member states to providing antiretroviral therapy to 15 million people in developing countries by 2015, cutting in half the number of new HIV cases transmitted through sexual activity or injecting drug use by 2015, and eliminating mother-to-child HIV transmission by the same year, according to the news service (Lederer, 6/10). “The declaration also pledged to close the global resource gap for AIDS and work towards increasing funding to between 22 billion U.S. dollars and 24 billion U.S. dollars per year by 2015,” Xinhua writes (6/11).

According to Agence France-Presse, the declaration “gave the most explicit U.N. backing yet to the use of condoms” despite “fierce opposition from the Vatican and conservative Muslim countries.” The news service notes that “[i]nstead of talking simply about the importance of abstinence and fidelity, the statement stresses the ‘correct and consistent use of condoms'” (Witcher, 6/10).