Chinese Premier commits to ending the AIDS epidemic in China

Caption: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) meets with the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé in Beijing, China, May 4, 2015. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang expressed his support for the AIDS response during a meeting with UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé and the Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Mark Dybul, on 4 May in Beijing, China.

The Premier said that the Chinese government is focusing particularly on HIV prevention, while also strengthening HIV treatment programmes and improving the quality of care for people living with HIV. He said the government is working to eliminate discrimination against people living with and affected by HIV.

Both Mr Sidibé and Mr Dybul thanked China for its contribution to the Ebola response. China has provided US$ 120 million and 1000 health workers to the West African countries most affected by the Ebola epidemic over the past year.

The Premier also mentioned the importance of community-based organizations working on HIV prevention and treatment and he committed to providing more funding to support their work.

Mr Sidibé welcomed the Premier’s political commitment to ensuring that AIDS remains high on the global agenda and commended China’s progress in the response to HIV. The government estimates that 810 000 people were living with HIV in 2013 and that almost two thirds had access to HIV treatment by the end of 2014.

Earlier, Mr Sidibé and Mr Dybul met with Minister of Health Li Bin, who said that China will incorporate the global vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths in its strategic planning, as well as the goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

UNAIDS has called for global targets to be reached by 2020 in order to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030: that 90% of all people living with HIV know their HIV status; 90% of all diagnosed with HIV have access to antiretroviral therapy; and 90% of all people accessing antiretroviral therapy with viral suppression. Minister Li said that said the 90–90–90 targets are clear and measurable.

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