On this day in 2005, the United Nations released a report warning that nearly 90 million Africans could be infected by HIV in the following 20 years if more was not done by governments to combat the epidemic.
An estimated 25 million Africans were already living with HIV at the time.
The report, titled Aids In Africa, was compiled over two years using over 150 experts. It demonstrated the dramatic impact government policies could have on the spread of HIV/AIDS on the continent.
With an investment of $200 billion, the UN estimated about 16 million people could be saved from dying of HIV/AIDS, while a further 43 million could be saved from contracting it.
“Millions of new infections can be prevented if Africa and the rest of the world decide to tackle AIDS as an exceptional crisis that has the potential to devastate entire societies and economies,” stated UN AIDS chief Peter Piot.
The report concluded that if by 2025 millions of people are still being infected by HIV, “It will not be because there was no choice but that collectively, there was insufficient political will to change behaviour at all levels…and halt the forces driving the Aids epidemic in Africa.”