At the United National Millennium Summit in 2000, the then 189 (now 193) members agreed eight Development Goals (MDGs) to be achieved by 2015 to help eradicate world poverty.  Funding is provided by the World Bank and the G8 group of nations.  With just under a year to go until the goals should be achieved, we can expect to see a renewed interest in these targets.

MDG 6 is the one of most interest to Better2Know, as that is “To combat HIV/ AIDS, malaria and other diseases”.  HIV/ AIDS in the prime focus of this goal.  However MDG 4 “To reduce child mortality rates” and MDG 5 “To improve maternal health” are also relevant, as a lot of work is done preventing Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV which can affect the health about the mother and child if HIV is not diagnosed.

MDG 6 has sub-targets to have halted an begun to reverse the spread of HIV/ AIDS by 2015 and to achieve by 2010 universal access to treatment for HIV/ AIDS for all those who need it.  Programes target the 15-24 year old group, and the MDGs have come into criticism for not looking at a wider population range, as different cultures have different approaches to and definitions of sexual relationships and marriage.  Programes target education of this age group, promotion of using condoms and the rate of HIV in this group.  The 2010 goal to achieve access to drugs has been widely funded by aid agencies and governments and drugs are widely available across the world.  There are problems of distribution and corruption, but the main problem is the stigma faced by local people seen accessing these drugs (which they may be able to sell on to people who do not want to go to collect their drugs themselves).

There is no doubt that the MDGs are improving HIV/ AIDS awareness across the globe, and we wait the figures with interest to see whether the rise of HIV can be halted.

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