United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon on Thursday called for the world to take bold decisions in the war on AIDS to reach under-threat goals set for 2015 at the launch of a report in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.
“World leaders have a unique opportunity at this critical moment to evaluate achievements and gaps in the global AIDS response,” Ban said. “We must take bold decisions that will dramatically transform the AIDS response and help us move towards an HIV-free generation.” The report by UNAIDS, released as the thirtieth anniversary of the recognized start of the AIDS epidemic approaches, said that the global rate of new HIV infections was going down and access to treatment was expanding.
However, the report cautioned that for every person beginning antiretroviral treatment, two become infected with HIV — amounting to 7,000 new infections each day, including children.
“Thirty years into the epidemic, it is imperative for us to re-energize the response today for success in the years ahead,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe. “Gains in HIV prevention and antiretroviral treatment are significant, but we need to do more to stop people from becoming infected and HIV prevention revolution is needed now more than ever.” Ban called for youth to be used to create a “HIV prevention revolution,” the revitalization of the push for universal access, support for countries’ HIV programmes, mutual accountability and the promotion of women’s health and human rights.