On 25 November, UNAIDS released the AIDS Epidemic Update 2009. The report outlined some worrying trends in Central Asia such as low antiretroviral treatment coverage. By December 2008, 22% of adults in the Eastern Europe and Central Asian region in need of treatment were receiving it-less than the global average for low- and middle-income countries (42%). Also of concern was the growing number of HIV cases: while globally the number of HIV cases increase by 20% between 2001 and 2008, the Eastern Europe and Central Asian region the number of cases increased by a staggering 67%. On the other hand, the report favorably reflected the high coverage of services to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission. In December 2008, the coverage of services to prevent mother-to-child transmission exceeded 90% in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The report also noted the changing patterns of the epidemic; In Central Asia, epidemics that were once characterized primarily by transmission among injecting drug users are now increasingly characterized by significant sexual transmission
UNODC, as a co-sponsor of the Joint Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), is the lead agency for HIV and AIDS prevention and care among injecting and other drug users and in prison populations. Since the first detected cases of HIV in the region, in the early 1990s, UNODC has been working to stem the flood of new cases in Central Asia. UNODC's goal has been to assist States in implementing large-scale and wide-ranging interventions to prevent HIV and to provide care and support to people living with HIV and AIDS. From 2004-2008, UNODC ran two large-scale regional projects which sought to prepare media to cover drug abuse prevention issues and increase the knowledge and skills of teachers, schoolchildren, parents and community leaders on issues of healthy lifestyles, drugs and HIV/AIDS. UNODC currently has one ongoing regional HIV prevention project "Effective HIV/AIDS prevention and care among vulnerable populations in Central Asia." This project provides policy advice to Governments, has strengthened educational curricula for medical practitioners, and has assisted national counterparts in developing five-year Action Plans on introducing and scaling up opiate substitution therapy.