HIV/AIDS is the deadliest disease of all time
July 2, 2002
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In a release to mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on Wednesday, June 26, the Executive Director of the UNDCP, Antonio Maria Costa said: “HIV/AIDS is the deadliest disease of all time. In 2001, every day there were 14,000 newly HIV-infected people and daily more than 8,000 died of AIDS. The epidemic has already killed 25 million people, with an additional 40 million carrying the virus. Millions of those infected can’t afford any treatment: their suffering is tremendous. The disease is not only destroying the life of individuals. It affects entire communities around the globe, wiping out economic and social development gains.”
The release continued: “While no efforts or resources should be spared to find a cure, the best possible response is preventing the spread of new infections and providing relief to those already suffering from HIV/AIDS. The UNDCP carries on such work in communities where intravenous drug use is on the rise, helping people understand the risks and adopt healthier, drug-free life styles.”
The UNDCP works in close collaboration with the local authorities in countries as far apart as Brazil, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Myanmar and West Africa to implement drug abuse and HIV/AIDS prevention projects, especially among at-risk teens. Teachers are trained in health promotion and drug abuse risks in schools, and courses are offered on the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, particularly AIDS, the release stated.
UNDCP is also running a global awareness-rising campaign through video public service announcements carried by television stations worldwide. “In this way we contribute to the Millennium Summit goal -- emphasised in the Secretary General’s message on today’s occasion -- of halting and beginning to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS by the year 2015,” the release concluded.