30th anniversary of AIDS and UN summit on HIV-AIDS in New York

Report on the 30th anniversary of AIDS as well as on the UN summit on HIV-AIDS in New York On the 5th of June 2011, the immunodeficiency disorder AIDS turned 30 years. What a bad day! An article, which was published on the 05th of June 1981, spoke about five young men for the first time, who felt ill with a rare pneumonia. At that time nobody knew that the cause of the disease was a still unknown virus.

During the last thirty years this virus has infected more than 60 million people and more than 25 million have died subsequently. Nowadays, about 7000 people become infected on a daily basis, including 1000 children. Developing countries are particularly affected. 75% of people who have fallen victim to AIDS live in Africa. This includes Tanzania in general and the Kagera region - where our association is involved - in particular.

Today, it is possible to slow down the progress of the disease by means of medication, but there is still no cure for AIDS. That is why AIDS is a very threatening and current topic also after thirty years. It is for this reason that different countries from all over the world met at the United Nations summit in New York on the 10th of June 2011. This High-level meeting on AIDS brought together 3,000 participants, including 30 heads of State and government. The joint declaration contains clear and measurable targets such as the aim to get 15 million people onto life-saving antiretroviral treatment by 2015 (in 2010 there were 6.6 million). In addition, by 2015 no further child shall be born with HIV.

These goals of the UN are ambitious because an amount of 22 – 24 billions US dollars (about 16 billion Euros) must be invested until 2015 to defeat AIDS. These targets can only be achieved with concrete and quick measures in the present.

Altogether, we hope that the summit of 2011 will provide the foundation for finally getting rid of HIV-AIDS. Besides these aims, it is important to keep in mind, that every day new people are affected by AIDS and every day people die as a result of their disease. Therefore it is important to care for those, who need our help the most – the AIDS orphans.