MDG 6: combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

Updated January 2014

Target 6A. Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS

Target 6B. Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it.


HIV prevention in Africa

At the end of 2012, 35.3million people were living with HIV. That same year, some 2.3 million people became newly infected, and 1.7 million died of AIDS, including 230 000 children. Close to 10 million people in low- and middle-income countries were receiving antiretroviral therapy at the end of 2012. More than two-thirds of new HIV infections are in sub-Saharan Africa.

WHO is working with countries:

  • to prevent people becoming infected with HIV – helping to change behaviours to reduce HIV risks; increasing access to prevention commodities; supporting programmes for prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV; promoting safe blood supplies and prevention of HIV transmission in health care settings; assessing new prevention technologies;
  • to expand the availability of treatment;
  • to provide the best care for people living with HIV/ AIDS and their families;
  • to expand access and uptake of HIV testing and counselling so that people can learn their HIV status;
  • to strengthen health care systems so that they can deliver quality and sustainable HIV/AIDS programmes and services; and
  • to improve HIV/AIDS information systems, including HIV surveillance, monitoring and evaluation and operational research.
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Target 6C. Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases


Group of children running

Around the world, 3.3 billion people are at risk of contracting malaria. In 2012, an estimated 207 million cases occurred, and the disease killed approx. 627 000 people – most of them children under five in Africa. On average, malaria kills a child every minute.

WHO-recommended strategies to tackle malaria include:

  • prevention with long-lasting insecticidal nets and indoor residual spraying;
  • diagnostic testing and treatment with quality-assured anti-malarial medicines;
  • preventive therapies for infants, children and pregnant women;
  • tracking every malaria case in a surveillance system;
  • scaling up the fight against emerging drug and insecticide resistance.

In a 2007 resolution, the World Health Assembly called for a 75% reduction in the global malaria burden by 2015.

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There were an estimated 8.6 million new cases of TB in 2012 (including 1.1 million cases among people with HIV) and an estimated 1.3 million deaths (including 320 000 people with HIV), making this disease one of the world's biggest infectious killers.

The world is on track to reach the MDG target of reversing TB incidence by 2015. However incidence is falling very slowly. In addition, all regions, except Africa and Europe, are on track to achieve the Stop TB Partnership target of 50% decline in mortality by 2015.

WHO is working to combat the epidemic through the Stop TB Strategy. This six-point strategy seeks to:

  • pursue high-quality DOTS expansion and enhancement;
  • address TB/HIV, multidrug-resistant TB and the needs of poor and vulnerable populations;
  • contribute to health system strengthening based on primary health care;
  • engage all care providers;
  • empower people with TB, and communities through partnership; and
  • enable and promote research.
Related links

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