In 2000, world leaders met at the UN in New York, to set up some Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to be fulfilled by 2015. These goals included plans to eradicate malaria, HIV/AIDS, and Tuberculosis (TB). Upon reconvening in 2008, the assembly realizes the latter two of the 3 goals unrealistic and unattainable by 2015.
Malaria Current Goals: The leaders still seek to cut cases by 75%, 2000—2015, and malaria-caused deaths to zero. Progresses: Insecticide-treated use of bed nets has tripled in 16 of 20 sub-Saharan African nations since 2000. Free Artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) distributed at all public health facilities in Zanzibar, Tanzania, has reduced novel cases reported by 70%. Genomes of three major mosquito vectors have been sequenced. RTS S vaccine is going into phase III trials across large areas of Africa. Problems: It has been estimated that $900 million more per year is required to develop vaccines and novel insecticides.
HIV/AIDS Current Goals: Universal access to HIV-AIDS treatment by 2010 Progresses: Rate of new infections fell from 3 million in 2001 to 2.7million in 2007. AIDS death rate dropped from 2.2 million in 2005 to 2 million in 2007. Approximately 3 million people living in low income nations are now receiving anti-retroviral treatments. World leaders pledged another $500 million to achieve goals. Problems: Demand for treatments far exceeds supply. Prevention is exceedingly difficult due to scientific, political, and cultural reasons.
TB Current Goals: Treat 50 million TB-infected people and prevent 14 million deaths Progresses: Incidence has slightly decreased. Global TB-prevalence rate fell by 2.8% and the corresponding death rate fell by 2.6%. Problems: TB detection is lagging, particularly in Africa, China, and India. Drug treatments are difficult to control.
Stone, M. 2009. Determined Progress in War against Malaria, HIV-AIDS, and TB. Microbe 4:115—118.