Asia needs more cash, campaigns, law changes to end HIV epidemic: U.N.

By Thin Lei Win BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The Asia-Pacific region will not meet the goal of ending the HIV epidemic in 15 years unless it changes laws and attitudes hostile to people living with HIV, the head of the United Nations agency on AIDS said on Wednesday.  Governments need to spend more on programs targeting key groups, improve access to lifesaving drugs and overhaul punitive laws that stop people seeking help, Michel Sidibé, executive director of UNAIDS, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.  “I’m fully convinced that if you don’t address these issues … it’s impossible to end HIV/AIDS,” said Sidibé, speaking on the opening day of an Asia Pacific inter-governmental meeting on HIV and AIDS in Bangkok.  UNAIDS announced a five-year, fast-track approach in November that it said could effectively end the worldwide health threat posed by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) by 2030. HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is spread via blood, semen and breast milk.
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