UNAIDS recognizes Vice Governor of Yunnan Province’s exceptional leadership on HIV
The Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé presented the Deputy Governor of Yunnan Province, Gao Feng with UNAIDS’ global “Leaders and Innovators Award” in a ceremony at the UNAIDS office in Beijing, China on 17 August. Mr Gao has been leading HIV prevention and control efforts in Yunnan province, one of the areas most affected by the AIDS epidemic and the award honours his exceptional work on HIV.
Located in southwestern China, Yunnan Province borders Myanmar, Lao PDR and Vietnam and has been heavily impacted by drug trafficking. By the end of 2016, more than 92-thousand people were diagnosed and reported as living with HIV, which represents 14% of all cases in China.
Mr Gao has driven change that has not only transformed the face of the AIDS epidemic in Yunnan but has made the province a model for HIV prevention and control in China and beyond. Between 2005 and 2016, Yunnan reduced new HIV infections by 36, 600 and AIDS-related deaths by 24 100 people.
The province has made 2020 a tipping point for reducing new HIV infections and is committed to achieving the global 90-90-90 HIV treatment targets, as well as eliminating new HIV infections among children. In 2016, 78% of people living with HIV knew their status, up from 40% in 2005 and 75% of people living with HIV who knew their status were on treatment, while 89% of people living with HIV on treatment have achieved viral suppression.
“I am committed to fighting against AIDS until the last day of my life.”
Gao Feng, Deputy Governor of Yunnan Province
“What I saw in Yunnan is unique. They combine exactly what we need in global health: political leadership, commitment at the technical level, partnership with local authorities and a clear strategy to involve communities. They are bringing services closer to people. This is how we will control and ultimately end AIDS.”
Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director