Associated Press (03.03.10) - Wednesday, March 03, 2010
UNAIDS and singer-activist Annie Lennox on Tuesday unveiled a
new five-year action plan to fight AIDS among the world's
females. According to the agency, AIDS is the leading cause of
disease and death worldwide among females ages 15 to 49.
"I see this agenda for action as a great opportunity to bring
the realities faced by many women and girls to the forefront
and to call attention to the injustices faced by many women
and girls, placing them at a bigger risk of HIV," Lennox said.
The new "Agenda for Action" calls on the UN, governments, and
voluntary organizations to cooperate to fight violence against
women, confront the challenges that prevent females from
protecting themselves against HIV, and liaise with men's and
boy's groups to support the rights of women and girls.
Michel Sidibe, UNAIDS' executive director, told reporters that
400,000 HIV-infected babies are being born annually in Africa;
that without treatment 30 percent will not live to see their
first birthday; and that these births mean that "400,000 women
have not been checked for HIV" or given preventive treatment
to protect their babies.
The new agenda was introduced during a two-week review of
progress toward achieving equality for women, a goal adopted
by 189 countries at a 1994 conference in Beijing. The same
declaration included a call to provide HIV prevention and
treatment to females. The UN Millennium Development Goals,
adopted in 2000, seek to halt and reverse the AIDS epidemic by