GENEVA, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) said on Wednesday that renewed commitment in fighting the epidemic is needed in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa and for key populations.
UNAIDS warned that some regions and countries are not on track to meet global targets and commitments on HIV despite of accelerated progress in most parts of the world.
In a report launched ahead of the World AIDS Day, UNAIDS said that new HIV infections have been on the rise in Eastern Europe and Central Asia by 13 percent since 2006, while the Middle East and North Africa has seen a doubling of new HIV infections since 2001.
"We need more regional leaderships," said Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS.
It pointed out that key populations including men who have sex with men, people who use drugs, transgender people and sex workers are often blocked from accessing life saving services.
"If we are going to keep our pledge of leaving no one behind, we have to make sure HIV services reaches everyone in need," Sidibe said.
The report found out that funding for HIV prevention services for men who have sex with men is especially limited in East Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, and across sub-Saharan Africa.
While much work needs to be done in Eastern Europe, for the first time in 2012, Ukraine has reported a decline in the number of newly identified HIV cases, it said.
UNAIDS also called for more attention for children and adults aged 50 and over living with HIV.
It pointed out that HIV treatment coverage for children, which is 34 percent, remained half of coverage for adults.
Although the number of children receiving antiretroviral therapy in 2012 increased by 14 percent over 2011, the pace of scale-up was substantially slower than for adults, it said.
It said the number of people aged 50 years and older who are living with HIV has been growing, which becomes an increasingly significant trend in the global HIV epidemic.
Recent UNAIDS statistics showed that worldwide new infections among adults and children were estimated at 2.3 million in 2012, a 33-percent reduction since 2001, and the number of HIV infections among children has reduced by 52 percent since 2001.
AIDS-related deaths have also dropped by 30 percent since the peak in 2005 as access to antiretroviral treatment expands.
By the end of 2012, some 9.7 million people in low- and middle-income countries were accessing antiretroviral therapy, an increase of nearly 20 percent in just one year, according to UNAIDS.