Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Press release I saw today following the UNGAS AIDS conference

Following the AIDS Summit, African Union Chair Recommits to the Targets on HIV/AIDS for Africa and urges Donors to Fund New Efforts to Achieve Universal Access by 2010-


 Addis Ababa, 15 June – Following the United Nations General Assembly's High Level Meeting on AIDS which took place from 31 May to 2 June in New York, the Chairperson of the African Union reaffirmed today the commitment of all African countries to achieve coverage rates of 80% for HIV treatment and prevention by 2010.



"Universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention, care and support must become a reality," said Denis Sassou-Nguesso, African Union Chairperson and the President of the Republic of Congo. "Africa bears the highest burden of disease, sickness and death from the AIDS pandemic. Africa also bears a responsibility to set and fulfill measurable, time-bound targets, in order to work towards a common goal of stopping this catastrophe."



The new targets were set by African leaders during the Special Summit of the African Union on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, held 2-4 May 2006 in Abuja, Nigeria. (See



President Sassou-Nguesso also called upon African governments and international donors to work together to fully fund the AIDS response in Africa. Despite an upsurge over the last five years in resources available for AIDS treatment, care and prevention programs, the international community is not yet funding the AIDS response at the level needed. Internationally, at least $20 billion annually is needed by 2010 worldwide to fund the fight against AIDS.



This UNAIDS estimate of annual resource needs to fight AIDS, was recognized by UN Member States during the High Level Meeting, along with a commitment to take measures to ensure that new and additional resources are made available from donor countries and also from national budgets and other national sources.



The declaration made at the close of the High Level Meeting also included a commitment to set national targets and scale up national AIDS responses towards the goal of universal access to comprehensive prevention programmes, treatment, care and support by 2010. 


Addis Ababa, June 19, 2006