UN head: Fight against AIDS threatened by lack of money, leadership

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Could There Be A Cure For HIV/AIDS in 2016?

NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) -- Global progress fighting AIDS could be lost because prevention programs are suffering from a lack of leadership, accountability and funding, the head of the United Nations warned on Friday.

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Headway in tackling the epidemic has been "inspiring," with a 42 percent decline in AIDS-related deaths since a peak in 2004, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a report.

The progress has caused life expectancy in countries most affected by HIV to rise sharply, he added.

But those gains could be lost without more and better investment in the next five years, Ban warned.

RELATED: Take a look back at World AIDS Day

16 PHOTOS
World AIDS Day 2015
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UN head: Fight against AIDS threatened by lack of money, leadership
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 30: The Empire State building is lit with red lights in honor of World Aids Day on November 30, 2015 in New York City. The annual event is observed December 1. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Indian social activists and children release a World AIDS Day awareness sign tied with ballons in Kolkata on December 1, 2015. According to the UN AIDS programme, India had the third-largest number of people living with HIV in the world at the end of 2013 and it accounts for more than half of all AIDS-related deaths in the Asia-Pacific region. In 2012, 140,000 people died in India because of AIDS. The Indian government has been providing free antiretroviral drugs for HIV treatment since 2004, but only 50 percent of those eligible for the treatment were getting it in 2012, according to a report by the World Health Organisation. AFP PHOTO/Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP / DIBYANGSHU SARKAR (Photo credit should read DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)
South Korean middle school students hold umbrellas as they form a giant red ribbon during a ceremony to mark World AIDS Day in Seoul on December 1, 2015. Official data show 9,615 South Koreans have been infected with the disease. AFP PHOTO / JUNG YEON-JE / AFP / JUNG YEON-JE (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - DECEMBER 01: A red Apple logo is displayed during the launch of the world AIDS day 2015 campaign at the Apple store Paris in 'Carrousel du Louvre' on December 01, 2015 in Paris, France. In recognition of World AIDS Day, 1st December, Apple Stores across the globe have turned the logo red. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)
This picture taken on November 30, 2015 shows volunteers holding red ribbons above a piece of paper written in Chinese that reads ''Red ribbons bring warmth to everyone to prevent AIDS' during an event for World Aids Day in Chongqing. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO / AFP / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 30: Members of the city's gay community carry a banner that reads: 'Mourning March' as they walk in a procession to commemorate AIDS victims the day before World AIDS Day on November 30, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. According to a recent report released by UNAIDS, the number of worldwide cases fell in 2014 though AIDS remains the leading killer of teenaged males in Africa and AIDS cases are rising in countries across eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, with the main means of transmission being heterosexual sex. According to the report 36.9 million people worldwide carried the HIV virus by the end of 2014. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
SURABAYA, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 01 : Indonesian students light dozens of candles as an act of solidarity with the World AIDS Day in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia on December 01, 2015. People around the world commemorate the 01 December as World AIDS Day aiming to raise awareness of the AIDS epidemic in the world caused by the spread of the HIV virus. (Photo by Suryanto/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Indian NGO volunteers light candles in the shape of a ribbon during an awareness rally on the eve of World Aids Day in Agartala, the capital of northeastern state of Tripura on November 30, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ ARINDAM DEY / AFP / ARINDAM DEY (Photo credit should read ARINDAM DEY/AFP/Getty Images)
An Indian couple walks past a sand sculpture on the eve of World AIDS Day, created by sand artist Sudarsan pattnaik on Golden Sea Beach in Puri, some 65 kms east of Bhubaneswar on November 30, 2015. World AIDS Day is celebrated on December 1 every year to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and to demonstrate international solidarity in the face of the pandemic. AFP PHOTO / AFP / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
A HIV-positive person from the Support and Care Centre of the Sumanahalli Society prepares 'red ribbons' on the eve of World Aids Day in Bangalore on November 30, 2015. Globally about 36.9 million people are living with HIV including 2.6 million children, while the global response to HIV has averted 30 million new HIV infections and nearly 8 million deaths since 2000. AFP PHOTO/ Manjunath KIRAN / AFP / Manjunath Kiran (Photo credit should read MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Indian school students pose for a photograph as they stand in the shape of a ribbon during an awareness campaign on the eve of World AIDS Day, in Amritsar on December 1, 2015. The UNAIDS agency says some 2.5 million Indians are living with HIV, many of them ostracised by their communities. AFP PHOTO/ NARINDER NANU / AFP / NARINDER NANU (Photo credit should read NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images)
A HIV-positive person from the Support and Care Centre of the Sumanahalli Society prepares 'red ribbons' on the eve of World Aids Day in Bangalore on November 30, 2015. Globally about 36.9 million people are living with HIV including 2.6 million children, while the global response to HIV has averted 30 million new HIV infections and nearly 8 million deaths since 2000. AFP PHOTO/ Manjunath KIRAN / AFP / Manjunath Kiran (Photo credit should read MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Indian school children and social activists hold candles and posters during a rally to create AIDS awareness on the eve of Worlds AIDS day, in Kolkata on November 30, 2015. AFP PHOTO/Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP / DIBYANGSHU SARKAR (Photo credit should read DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)
Indian school children and social activists hold candles and posters during a rally to create AIDS awareness on the eve of Worlds AIDS day, in Kolkata on November 30, 2015. AFP PHOTO/Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP / DIBYANGSHU SARKAR (Photo credit should read DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)
Indian school children and social activists hold candles and posters during a rally to create AIDS awareness on the eve of Worlds AIDS day, in Kolkata on November 30, 2015. AFP PHOTO/Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP / DIBYANGSHU SARKAR (Photo credit should read DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)
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A commitment to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 was included in the Sustainable Development Goals, an ambitious plan to end poverty and inequality which was adopted by U.N. member states in September.

Over the next four years, an estimated $26.2 billion will be needed to achieve that 2030 target, the report said.

Citing gains, it said antiretroviral therapy had been made available to 15 million people in the last 15 years.

During that time the number of people newly infected by HIV each year has dropped to 2 million from 3.1 million, according to U.N. data.

But inadequate leadership, poor accountability and declining funding have weakened HIV prevention programs in recent years, Ban said.

New HIV infections declined just 8 percent between 2010 and 2014 and continue to rise in eastern Europe, central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, the report added.

Some 22 million people do not have access to treatment, it said, and around half of all people living with HIV are unaware of their HIV status.

RELATED: Notable people living with HIV/AIDS

4 PHOTOS
Notable people with HIV/AIDS
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UN head: Fight against AIDS threatened by lack of money, leadership

American rapper Eazy-E

(Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

American fashion designer Perry Ellis (1940 - 1986) at the Council of Fashion Designers of America 1981 awards dinner at the New York Public Library on 42nd Street, New York City, 14th January 1982. (Photo by Tom Gates/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

Photographer Robert Mapplethorpe

(Photo by Leee Black Childers/Redferns)

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