The 8th World workshop on Oral Health and diases in HIV
The HIV/AIDS epidemics are one of the greatest challenges ever to global well-being. Approximately 42 million people were infected with HIV by the end of 2002, and millions have already died of AIDS. Many more people are affected because their parents, other family members, friends and co-workers have died from AIDS or are infected with HIV. HIV/AIDS is the fastest growing threat to development today and the epidemic is particularly severe in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. National programmes, international organizations, civil society, communities and individuals have responded to the epidemic. The initial efforts were often weak and scattered as the full nature and scope of the threat were not comprehended. As the epidemic has progressed, understanding of the complex causes and effects has increased. The greatest challenge in responding to HIV/AIDS at present is ensuring that proven, gender sensitive strategies for prevention and care are widely implemented to a level where there will be significant impact on the epidemic.