UNAIDS Executive Director delivers his World AIDS Day 2014 message
On this World AIDS Day, let us also reflect on the lives lost to Ebola, on the countries and people affected by the outbreak in West Africa.
The Ebola outbreak reminds us of the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. People were hiding and scared. Stigma and discrimination were widespread. There were no medicines and there was little hope.
But today, thanks to global solidarity, social mobilization and civil society activism, we have been able, together, to transform tragedy into opportunity. We have been able to break the conspiracy of silence, to reduce the price of medicines and break the trajectory of the AIDS epidemic. This has saved millions of lives.
We now have to break the epidemic for good. If we don’t, it could spring back and it will be impossible to end.
We have a short five-year window of opportunity to reach the people who are being left behind, people who have been denied their rights—young women and adolescent girls, men who have sex with men, migrants, prisoners, sex workers, people who inject drugs.
To do this we need to ensure that health systems are strengthened to provide the essential services that are needed and civil society has to be supported so it can continue to play its vital role.
On World AIDS Day 2014, it is time to redouble our efforts, to fast-track our actions and close the gap between people who have access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services and people who are being left behind.
By fast-tracking countries, cities and communities we can reach people most affected by HIV. And with Fast-Track Targets like 90–90–90 we can ensure that, by 2020, 90% of people living with HIV know their status, 90% of people who know their HIV positive status are on treatment and that 90% of people on treatment have suppressed viral loads.
So, let us join together this World AIDS Day to close the gap and end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.