UNAIDS Executive Director says 15m people have received life-saving treatment
Executive Director of the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has revealed that over 15 million people have received life-saving treatment, with the world committed to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.
In his statement to mark this year’s World Aids Day today, December 1, Michel Sidibe said the ambitious yet wholly attainable objective represents an unparalleled opportunity to change the course of history for ever, something the current generation must do for generations to come.
“Today, we live in fragile communities where inequities can persist when essential services don’t reach the people in need. To change this dynamic, we must quicken the pace of action, as we know that strengthening local services to reach key populations will lead to healthier and more resilient societies,” said Sidibe.
He said the good news was that the world now has what it takes to break the epidemic and keep it from rebounding, to prevent substantially more new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths as well as eliminating HIV-related stigma and discrimination.
“Already we have reached 15.8 million people with life-saving treatment, and increasingly we are able to refine our efforts and be more precise in our ability to reach people who might otherwise be left behind,” he said and added that with this attention to location and population, countries are able to redistribute opportunities to improve access.
Mr. Sidibe continued that countries are implementing the UNAIDS FAST TRACK STRATEGY and together with front-loaded investments, they are expecting to close the gaps to these essential services faster.
He further maintained that with the Sustainable Development Goals, the world has entered a new era of innovation and integration, as there is a greater understanding of how the global goals are interconnected and a better appreciation for moving forward together.
He said ending the AIDS epidemic means that adolescent girls and young women have access to education and appropriate HIV and sexual and reproductive health services, which means key populations, such as people who inject drugs and transgender people, have full access to health services delivered with dignity and respect.
“This is an exciting time in the AIDS response, as we are building momentum towards a sustainable, equitable and healthy future for all,” he said.