Millennium Development Goal #6

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Main Targets

Progress Report: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS

Progress Report: Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it.

Progress Report: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases



In the fight against HIV/AIDS, “universal coverage” is defined by the World Health Organization as coverage (access to appropriate HIV/AIDS treatments, whatever those might be) to at least 86% of the population in need. To some this MDG, which saw its peak worldwide in 1997 when the total number of HIV infections reach its highest number in history, is equally as daunting as the MDG aimed at reduce extreme poverty. Yet, the progress made in the fight against HIV/AIDS has seen HIV incident rates fall by 25% between 2001- 2009. Consequently, numerous areas have achieved universal coverage, decreasing the risk of transfer of HIV from mother to child dramatically. Unfortunately young people, those between the ages of 15-25, make up 41% of all new infections among those above the age of 15. This represents the need for awareness among youth, with awareness rates between regions ranging dramatically.

The often times forgotten MDG included in MDG8 are other infectious diseases such as Malaria and Tuberculosis. Malaria has seen some of the most positive outcomes since 2000, with the confirmed number of malaria cases gone down by over half between 2000 – 2009 in 31 out of 56 countries where malaria was at an “endemic” level. 2009 saw no reported cases of malaria in Europe, and 2010 saw the WHO declare that Morocco and Turkmenistan officially eliminated malaria.  Most importantly, the most successful combatant against Malaria has been insecticide-treated nets, with over 290 million being distributed between 2008-2010.

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Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS

Progress Report

  • From 2001-2009, the HIV incident rate has declined at a steady rate (about 25% worldwide). Within those rates, however, there are large regional differences. While Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia have seen rates fall significantly, East Europe, Central Europe and North Africa have stayed stagnant. At one point, the rates in East Europe and Central Asia rose after a short decline in early 2000.
  •  2009 saw 2.6 million people being newly infected with HIV. This is down 21% since 1997, when infection peaked worldwide.
  • The total number of people receiving antiretroviral treatment for HIV/AIDS increased 13 fold from 2004-2009, resulting in a decline of AIDS related deaths by 19%.
  • Consequently, the number of new infections as declined worldwide, but the number of those living with HIV has grown.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most heavily affected area in the world, with 69% of new HIV infections, 68% of all people living with HIV and 72% of AIDS related deaths. In 2009, there were 33.3 million individuals living with HIV, a 27% increase from 1999.This leaves 10.8 million people out of Sub-Saharan Africa living with the virus.
  • 23% of the people living with HIV are under the age of 25, with 15-25 year olds accounting for 41% of new infections among those over 15 years old.
  • 2009 also saw women representing a slight majority of those infected with HIV/AIDS, with 51% of the total infections worldwide.
  • HIV and Aids: interactive timeline of a global crisis - Read More 


  • In developing regions, an average of 33% of young men and 20% of young women have a solid and correct understanding of HIV.
  • Globally, averages of knowledge awareness are low. A population based survey in Sub-Saharan African countries shows that the knowledge among young people surrounding condoms can greatly reduce the chance of getting HIV ranges from 50% to 90%, depending on the area.
  • Overall, women were less likely to be knowledgable about HIV, with rural youth also at a higher risk of not knowing and understanding prevention methods.
  • A large disparity exists with condom use among young people, with young women in developing regions less likely than young men to use condoms. This risk rises in rural and/or poorer households.


  • Globally, 16.6 million children in 2009 were estimated to have lost one or both parents to AIDS, up from 14.6 million in 2005. 14.8 million of those children live in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Disparities in school attendance show that children who have lost both parents are less likely to attend school than those with two living parents, and are living with at least one of them. This gap is narrowing in Sub-Saharan Africa: in some regions, school attendance for children aged 10-14 who have been orphaned has increased to near parity with that of other children.
  • This suggests that eliminating school fees and targeting assistance to vulnerable children is working.

Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it.

Progress Report

  • The World Health Organization revised the guidelines for treatment of adults and adolescents with HIV including pregnant women in 2009.  As a result, more people were defined as needing antiretroviral therapy grew from 10.1 million to 14.6 million at the end of 2009. With these revisions, fewer hospitalizations are expected with lower morality rates in the long term.
  • This revision added to this MDG not being achieved, but will do greater good in the long term to those effected by HIV/AIDS.
  • Fast Facts about HIV treatment - Read Now


  • Universal access is defined as coverage of at least 80% of the population in need.
  •  The end of 2009 saw 5.25 million people receive antiretroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS in low and middle class countries. That is an increase of over 1.2 million people from December 2008 – the largest increase to ever happen within a year.
  • Botswana, Cambodia, Croatia, Cuba, Guyana, Oman, Romania and Rwanda have already attained universal access to antiretroviral therapy and/or interventions to prevent mother/child transfer.
  • Antiretroviral coverage varies by sex and age. 2009 saw coverage higher for women than men, 39% and 31%, respectively.

Children and Pregnant Women

  •  Overall, coverage of children in low-middle income countries was lower than that of adults. 356,400 individuals under the age of 15 received antiretroviral therapy at the end of 2009, up from 275,300 at the end of 2008.This represents 28% of all children under 15 who need treatment in low-middle income countries. This is an improvement from 2008, where it the total number of was 22%.

  • Without treatment, about one third of children born to a woman living with HIV will become infected while in the womb, during birth or while breastfeeding. This risk is greatly reduced when the mother is treated appropriately.
  • 53% of pregnant women with HIV received medicine in 2008, up from 45% in 2008.  Currently, Sub-Saharan Africa is the home to 91% of the 1.4 million pregnant women who are in need of treatment. 

Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.

Progress Report


  • The infusion of funding and attention to malaria control has led to widespread reductions in the number of reported malaria cases and deaths.
  • More effective tools have also been manufactured and distributed on a large scale to prevent and fight against malaria, including long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets and artemisiin-based combination therapies, especially in Africa.
  • Deaths worldwide from malaria have gone down by about 20%, from 781,000 reported cases in 2000 to 295,000 in 2009. There was a notable spike in reported cases of malaria from 233 million in 200 to 244 million in 2005, but fell to 225 million in 2009.
  • The largest percentage of reported cases of malaria caused deaths were in Europe and the Americas, with the largest absolute decrease being observed in Africa. Yet, 90% of all malaria deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa with a majority of those deaths affecting children under the age of five.
  •  Since 2000, 11 countries in Africa have shown reductions of more than 50% in the number of confirmed malaria cases (and/or reported hospital admissions for malaria) and deaths: Algeria, Botswana, Cape Verde, Eritrea, Madagascar, Namibia, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia.
  •  Confirmed cases of malaria decreased by more than half between 2000 and 2009 in 31 out of 56 countries were malaria was considered to be at an “endemic” level.
  •  For the first time in 2009, Europe saw no cases of plasmodium falciparum malaria.
  •  In 2010, the World Health Organization certified that Morocco and Turkmenistan had eliminated malaria.
  • In three countries were malaria cases had been reported as decreased, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe and Zambia, 2009 saw a rise in malaria cases. This confirms that malaria control must be maintained even if malaria cases are confirmed to be reduced in certain areas.
  • Malaria Country Profiles - Read More 


  • Some of the most effective means to prevent malaria are insecticide-treated nets (mosquitos that carry the malaria parasite mostly bite at night), which dramatically decrease the morality rate of children under five.
  • The surge in productive, purchase and distribution of treated nets between 2008-2010 saw 290 million nets distributed in Sub-Saharan Africa, enough to cover 76% of the 765 million people at risk in 2010.
  • In Africa, due to the multiple nationwide campaigns in effected regions for the distribution and use of treated nets, especially to poor and rural areas, urban and rural children are now equally as likely to sleep under treated nets.



We Can End Malaria




  • Gradually easing worldwide, tuberculosis has been decreasing at an average of 1% since its peak in 2004 of 142 cases per 100,000 people. The decrease resulted in 137 reported cases per 100,000 people in 2009, which equates to an estimated 9.4 million people with newly diagnosed tuberculosis in 2009, the same number as 2008.
  • At this current rate, this MDG is on track to half and reverse the trend of Tuberculosis worldwide.
  • 2009 saw the most new cases of tuberculosis in Asia (55%) and Africa (30%). India, China, South Asia, Nigeria and Indonesia had the most cases overall.
  • About 12% of people newly diagnosed with tuberculosis were HIV positive, with Sub-Saharan Africa sitting at about 80% of those cases.
  • The deaths attributed to tuberculosis have fallen by over one third since 1990. In 2009, 1.3 million deaths were recorded among those who were not infected with HIV, and 0.4 million deaths recorded to those diagnosed as HIV positive.
  • TB and Women - Read More


"30 Years of HIV/AIDS", The Guardian Online.

“The Millennium Development Goals Report 2011”, the United Nations, June 2011.

“We Can End Poverty 2015 – Fact Sheet”, UN Department of Public Information, September 2010.

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