|Facts about UNAIDS: an overview (UNAIDS, 1997, 11 p.)|
AIDS is not simply a health crisis, but a social and economic crisis whose impact extends to the community, nation, and beyond, in some cases threatening entire economic systems. UNAIDS is calling for a response to the epidemic that openly recognizes these facts and builds on existing efforts to incorporate AIDS issues into existing social and economic development agendas.
There is encouraging news about successes in scaling back the spread of HIV and medical breakthroughs for treating people with AIDS. But more must be done to multiply these successes and strengthen the ability of individuals and communities to deal with the epidemic. An expanded response means:
· tackling the social and economic structures that leave people with few options for protection
· forging new working partnerships with all those who are in a position to do something about the causes or consequences of the epidemic: in government, with ministries of health, education, youth, defense, tourism, agriculture, planning, and legislative bodies; in wider society, with nongovernmental and community-based organizations, the private sector, religious organizations, human rights initiatives, social service networks, and people living with HIV/AIDS
· understanding and addressing the impact of the epidemic not only at an individual and community level but also at a societal level
· aiming efforts at influencing individual behaviour on the one hand and reducing individual and community risks and vulnerability on the other
· increasing people s access to technologies for prevention and to drugs needed for appropriate care and treatment.
Peter Piot, Executive Director, UNAIDS: Our task in UNAIDS is to help countries build on the hopeful trends we are hearing about, and make them materialize worldwide.