> Aids, word order: STOP! We keep our promises”

The date of the 1st of December has been chosen becauseé the first AIDS case has been diagnosed on 1 December 1981. In these 25 years, AIDS has killed over 25 million people, becoming one of the epidemics more destructive in human history. Only in 2005, over 4 million people have been infected by the HIV virus.

“Say, ‘Stop Aids'” and engage in the fight against the disease that continues to kill more than 5,700 people every day: is the slogan of the world Aids Day 2007, while recording from 6,800 new cases per day. In the world there are about 33.2 million hiv-positive or Aids patients, according to the latest financial report released in November by UnAids, the un programme against Aids, while a year earlier were more than 39 million. “Stop Aids. We keep our promises” is the slogan chosen for the world Aids day, which this year puts the emphasis on the needà of leadership.

“By the outbreak of the disease, the experience clearly shows that important steps forward in the response to Aids has been made under the auspices of strong leadership and committed”, stressed the World Aids Campaign (Wac), the steering committee defines the themes of the world Day of fight against Aids. This year in the world, a total of 2.5 million people – including 420mila children under the age of 15 were infected with hiv / Aids, and 2.1 million patients – including 330mila with less than 15 years – died of Aids, according to UnAids. According to the Un agency has revised its figures downwards following the new methods of calculation, it should not be forò to lower the guard, and, più stronger than ever è the needà  for immediate action and more funding”.

Currently, the disease is very present in sub-saharan Africa, where it affects more women. In this area there are two-thirds of the new cases of infection, even if their number is down to 1.7 million from 2.2 million in 2001. Here, more than 22 million people are living with Aids, approximately 61% of adults infected are women. UnAids has noted in its recent report that most of the infections of Aids on the young women è decreased in 11 of the 15 countries in the world più affected.

There were also “favorable changes” in the behaviour of young people in many african countries, including Botswana, Cameroon, Chad, Kenya, Malawi, Togo, Zambia, Zimbabwe -a sign of the effectiveness of the prevention campaigns where it is registered a decrease of 2.5% of HIV infections and a decrease in the number of AIDS-related deaths, which rose from about 2500 a week to 2.214.

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good news first of the 1° in December, although we must not forget that, unfortunately, most of the infected are children. You remember that last year, the World Organization of the Sanità  he said that Zimbabwe is the country where women have the life expectancy of the più bottom of the world, 34 years. The men arrive at the age of 37. A given explained with the high incidence of Hiv/Aids and the spread of prostitution.

not so good, and the situation in China, where about 700 thousand people affected by Aids, infected by the virus or who have contracted the disease. A figure slightly higher than that recorded two years ago. “The results of the estimate show that by the end of 2007, the number of Aids patients and people infected in our country, ‘said the Minister of Health – sarà  around 700k, including 85mila sick”. The figure is a slight increase in comparison to the previous study published at the end of 2005, the first of its kind, which numbered 650 thousand cases in the country.

WFP (the world food programme of the United Nations) that has released yesterday in Rome the Report, World hunger series 2007, in the course of the workshop “Hunger, health and HIV: a vital relationship”, raises the alarm about children: 143 million under-five are underweight in developing countries, of these, 121 million live in low-income countries with deficit food. In 53% of cases, undernutrition is the leading cause of mortalityà  child.

Also, 57% of malaria deaths are attributable to undernutrition, and without adequate nutrition, the fight against Aids is impossible. ‘We have to give free medical care to all’, said Deborah Hines, curator of the report Pam. In this framework, the nutrition is the first activityà  care. It is necessary to make più perché the solutions can be effective, and put an end to hunger and hiv / Aids must become an absolute imperative”.

on The eve of the world day for the fight against Aids, Wfp wanted to with this new relationship, put the focus on the close relationship between the incidence and development of diseases in developing countries, and malnutrition. Especially in relation to Aids, this phenomenon takes on a special importance. The people affected by this disease require, in fact, specific nutritional needs, “it is irresponsible to ignore the issue of hunger and malnutrition, in particular in the fight against Aids,” he said, still the associate director the executive from the Wfp, Sheila Sisulu- “we should cancel the benefits of medical care simply becauseé the people is too malnourished to metabolize and benefit from the medicine that he desperately needs'”

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remember that the children are the future, and without them you can notò look forward, the Clia-Link International Fight against Aids, a network of institutions and organisations in italy, founded in 2005, has organized the workshop in progress from yesterday in the Capitol at Rome, by the title “Access to treatment for children with Hiv in developing Countries”. In this occasion all the Countries present will ask officially to the Big Farm to administer free antiretroviral drugs pediatric the infant population of the South of the World affected by Hiv, and to the governments of countries more poor of efforts to ensure access to care through the activation of hospital centres equipped.

“What you’re going to ask in a loud voice,’ he said Rosaria Iadino, president of the Nps-Network of the Italian Hiv-positive People, it is simply to apply articles 3 and 25 of the universal Declaration of human rights of the United Nations, which guarantees the right to life, to health and medical care”. According to Iadino, “consider the children as small ‘voids to lose’ and feel their access to treatment is not a priority and it’s unacceptable. To live with the reasons of the industry and those of the people it is possible”. In 2006, approximately 90% of the 2.300.000 hiv-infected children of age between 0 and 14 years belonged to the sub-saharan Africa and, of the approximately 780.000 that they were in need of antiretroviral therapy, only 115.500, equal to about 15%, have been able to benefit from it. To ensure by 2010 universal access to treatment against Aids, are needed to 42.2 million dollars, and the resources currently available will allow only 4.6 million people have access to care.

“Serve 42.2 billion dollars to ensure that within three years all patients of the possibilityà to  be cured, and governments have the duty to maintain the commitments and accordingly revise upward their financial commitment in the fight against Hiv,” said Marco De Ponte, secretary general of ActionAid, according to which, from 2000 to 2007, Italy has committed over half a billion euros in the fight against Aids, and, thanks to the gradual increase of funding, the amount of action in response to a pandemic is to become the industry più important of public Aid to development the Italian. The 84,6% of the total resources, è went to a single beneficiary, the Global Fund, while the remaining portion of the aid has been allocated to bilateral interventions in Sub-saharan Africa, in particular south Africa and Kenya.

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In June 2007, says ActionAid in its new report on the Aids ‘Every promise is a debt’, 97 countries low-and middle-income economies have set national plans to move closer to universal access, but it is unlikely that the governments of the Countries more affected by the pandemic to fund more than a third of all initiatives needed: the shortfall of resources should be covered by external resources. In 2007, Italy has paid to the Global Fund up to € 410 million, paying debts, and paying in advance the contribution of 2008.

Although the Global Fund to devote the 55-58% of the resources to interventions in response to Aids, corresponding to 20% of the global response to the pandemic, its current resources remain insufficient to meet the new financial needs. Italy has confirmed its commitment in favour of the Fund, but ActioAid asks Italy to prepare a legislative instrument ad hoc, to make certain, and predictable on the commitment made by the president of the Council Romano Prodi in the course of the G8 the German 4 billion dollars to fight the pandemic in the next 10 years”.

“Currently – adds De Bridge – only one patient out of three has access to health care, and one of the causes of this situation is to be found in the cost of medicines: the price of some therapies is significantly decreased, but on the contrary, the price of second-line drugs, used in combination with the increased resistance of the virus, always remain very high.” The market entry of competition in the production of generic drugs, according to the report of ActionAid, has to be reduced to ten times their price in a period of five years: between 2004 and 2006, 63% of arvs purchased in Sub-saharan Africa were generic indians, south africans or brazilians.

Although 97% of the life-saving drugs of the first line is generic, for those of the second line, the data stops at 3%, because it is protected by patents that the generic drug industry is not allowed toò to acquire. “It is necessary that the Italian government supports the strengthening of the industry of generic drugs in poor Countries – concludes Marco De Ponte – promoting partnerships and technology transfer, including through financial support to the companyà  a mixed-activity holding”.

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Page published on 30 November 2007