UN chief wants to make AIDS epidemic a thing of the past

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for a renewed commitment to finish what they have started and to make the AIDS epidemic a thing of the past.

“The world is well on its way to meeting the target of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030,” he said in a message marking the World AIDS Day.

Nearly 21 million people living with HIV now have access to treatment – a number that should grow to more than 30 million by 2020.

“AIDS-related deaths and new HIV infections are declining. There is great hope that the world can deliver on its promise – but much more needs to be done,” said the UN Chief.

Sadly, he said some parts of the response to HIV are lagging behind. “In some regions of the world, hard-won successes are being reversed, with rising numbers of new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths.”

He said women and girls continue to be disproportionally affected by HIV, particularly in Africa. “Men are less likely to know that they are living with the virus, less likely to seek treatment for it, and more likely to transmit HIV as a result.”

He said too many people are unable to access the services they need to treat their illness or to stay healthy.