30th anniversary of AIDS epidemic offers moment for reflection – Ban

Ban ki-Moon - UN Boss

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, on Tuesday said 2011 would mark the 30th anniversary of the AIDS epidemic, and “this milestone offered a moment for people to reflect and to renew their resolve.”

“Over the past three decades, AIDS has caused untold suffering and death”, Ban said in a message to mark World AIDS Day on Wednesday, December 1.

However, he said another story had unfolded through the years, one of the global community uniting with passion to take action and save lives, and these efforts were making a real difference around the world.

The message in a statement issued by the United Nations Information Centre in Accra said fewer people were becoming infected with HIV, and millions of people had gained access to HIV treatment.

“More women are now able to prevent their babies from becoming infected with HIV.  Travel restrictions for people living with HIV are being lifted by many countries, as stigma gives way — still too slowly — to compassion and recognition of human rights”, he added.

“With commitment and solidarity, this movement is helping the world turn the corner on the AIDS epidemic.  We have finally reached the first part of Millennium Development Goal 6 — by halting and beginning to reverse the spread of HIV.  We must continue to chart a new and bold path ahead”, Ban said.

“Our common goal is clear: universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.  We must also work to make the AIDS response sustainable”.

“Three decades into this crisis, let us set our sights on achieving the “three zeros” — zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.  On this World AIDS Day, let us pledge to work together to realize this vision for all of the world’s people”, he added.

Source: GNA

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