World Lung Foundation issued the following statement on the topic of World Aids Day. Peter Baldini, Chief Executive Officer, World Lung Foundation, said:

"The dedication of so many governments, public health professionals, NGOs, researchers and scientists has led to massive progress in the global fight against AIDS. The fact that HIV infections in children under 15 have reduced by 58 percent since 2001 is a brilliant achievement. And the number of AIDS-related deaths has fallen by 35 percent since the peak in 2005. Yet while progress is being made, it remains slow among specific groups. Co-infection of HIV-TB is a case in point; TB is the biggest opportunist infection among people living with HIV. Much more could be done to improve diagnosis and treatment of people at high risk of these conditions, particularly in Africa.

"In addition, awareness remains comparatively poor among many people who are living with HIV or who are at risk of developing HIV. On a global basis, while 35 million people are living with HIV, 19 million of them don't know they have the virus - even in countries like the UK where there are mature screening systems. This indicates that screening for HIV remains a priority, but also that people need to know more about the behaviours that might lead them to develop HIV, reducing their risk of developing HIV, the signs that they need to seek medical assistance and how they can stop the HIV from passing to others.

"We need a new wave of graphic mass media campaigns, like those that successfully raised awareness of HIV/AIDS in the 1980s, if we are to provide people with the information they need to protect their own health and the health of others. World Lung Foundation stands ready to make its contribution to this battle."