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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
GLOBAL: New UN Campaign Targets HIV Prevention for Women
Edith M. Lederer
March 3, 2010
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 2015.