HIV transmission

In North American and the Western and Central parts of Europe, the number of individuals living with HIV increased to 1. 9 million in 2005 (UNAIDS, 2006). Of this number, 65,000 individuals acquired the virus within only one year. There has been a wide distribution of antiretroviral therapy regimens to decrease the number of AIDS-related deaths to approximately 30,000 during that same year. In is of great concern to know that prevention programs are running in a slow pace in many other countries, mainly due to the changes in the epidemiological data on the patterns of HIV transmission.

It has been determined that HIV is mainly transmitted through three major routes. In most of the countries, sex between men and unprotected heterosexual intercourse are the two main routes of HIV transmission. In addition, a third route involving drug use through injection, has been strongly associated with HIV transmission in the rest of the HIV/AIDS-afflicted countries. It has been estimated that more than one-third of the diagnosed HIV cases in 2004 were in women.

In this light, the UNAIDS created an initiative called “Making a Difference” which aims to generate a series of reports cards from each country that summarizes the current HIV prevention strategy and services (UNAIDS, 2007). Such services are aimed to help girls and young women, within the age range of 15 to 24 years. Every report card from each country describes the profile of the country, information on HIV prevention measures taken by the country through legal, policy, service availability, service accessibility and participation and rights perspectives.

The country report card also provides recommendations that may facilitate the country in enhancing HIV prevention by using effective strategies through practical activities and implementations. These country report cards also carry the objective to increase and augment programmatic, policy and funding activities to prevent further HIV infection in girls and young women, but following the global and national policies that have been committed in the 2006 Political Declaration on HIV-AIDS.

Report cards have already been released for specific countries such as Jamaica, Mozambique, Malawi and the Philippines, and report cards for countries such as Cambodia, Cameroon, China, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Thailand and Uganda and now in the process of preparation. There are currently plans for generating reports cards that will describe the HIV/AIDS situations in Kenya, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Serbia and Sudan.

In addition, the UNAIDS and its partner UN organizations are currently planning national stakeholders’ meetings in specific countries to evaluate the findings and recommendations that have been collected, and more importantly, to design country-specific action plans to will address the HIV/AIDS conditions and also address the sexual and reproductive health matters of girls and young women in each country. In addition, Music Television (MTV) has created a multimedia global HIV prevention campaign entitled “Staying Alive,” which challenges AIDS-related stigma and discrimination.

This effort was produced in cooperation with the UNAIDS, UNICEF and the World Bank, to provide a venue for the young generation to share messages and inspire the young adults to keep safe and healthy and also join them in the campaign against HIV/AIDS.


UNAIDS (2006a): 2006 Report on the global AIDS epidemic. Switzerland: UNAIDS. 27 pages. UNAIDS (2006b): A global view of HIV infection. Switzerland: UNAIDS. UNAIDS (2007): 2006 UNAIDS Annual Report: Making the money work. Switzerland: UNAIDS. 73 pages.

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