The United Nations has commemorated World Aids Day on Thursday by launching a five-year campaign to encourage governments to meet their commitments in fighting the deadly disease.
U.N. officials say the theme of the World AIDS Campaign from 2005 to 2010 will be "Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise."
In a statement, U.N. AIDS Director Peter Piot said the latest global figures show signs of hope. He said, however, the number of people living with AIDS has reached its highest level ever -- with more than 40 million people infected, nearly half of them women.
He said comprehensive prevention, treatment and care programs need to be increased on a massive scale to help reverse the spread of the deadly disease.
World Health Organization officials say less than one in five people at risk of becoming infected have access to basic prevention services. Currently, there is no cure for those living with HIV and AIDS.