By Martha Nakimuli
The United Nations has launched a new framework which seeks to give 15 million people with HIV/AIDS access to antiretroviral treatment by the year 2015.
The framework, entitled Treatment 2015, offers countries and partners practical and innovative ways to increase the number of people accessing antiretroviral medicines that will enable those living with HIV to live longer and healthier lives, as well as help prevent new infections.
Treatment 2015 takes into account the new consolidated guidelines on the use of antiretroviral drugs for treating and preventing HIV infection released last month by the World Health Organization (WHO), which recommend that people living with HIV start antiretroviral therapy (ART) much earlier.
“Reaching the 2015 target will be a critical milestone,” said Michel Sidibé, the Executive Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). “Countries and partners need to urgently and strategically invest resources and efforts to ensure that everyone has access to HIV prevention and treatment services.”
According to UNAIDS, nearly 10 million people living with HIV were accessing antiretroviral treatment last year, and the target to reach 15 million is a push to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) that seeks to have halted and begun the spread of HIV/AIDS by the 2015 deadline.
However, the report notes that 30 countries account for 9 out of 10 people who are eligible for antiretroviral therapy but who do not have access.