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HIV/AIDS Will Hinder 2015 Millennium Development Goals

Impact of HIV/AIDS on human development affects many Millennium Development Goals objectives

FRIDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Because of the burden of HIV/AIDS, many countries will not meet the 2015 Millennium Development Goals set by 189 world governments in September 2000 to improve worldwide living standards, according to a report in the November issue of PLoS Medicine.

Robert Hecht, Ph.D., and colleagues at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative in New York City, and EASE International in Copenhagen, Denmark, reviewed studies that show how HIV/AIDS impedes human development to determine their impact on objectives to improve poverty, education, mortality and health.

The group found evidence that HIV/AIDS lowers GDP by up to 1.5 percent annually, worsens childhood nutritional status, compromises efforts to improve education, contributes to childhood and maternal mortality and undermines tuberculosis and malaria vaccination efforts.

"Failure to halt and reverse the AIDS epidemic will continue to jeopardize progress toward achieving a wide range of the Millennium Development Goals," the authors write. "Part of the commitment to long-term prosperity for the world's poorest countries must therefore include investing in these HIV prevention tools for the future."

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