The United Nations General Assembly adopted the ‘Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS: Intensifying our Efforts to eliminate HIV/AIDS’ Friday at the conclusion of the three-day High-Level Meeting on AIDS in New York City. The ambitious goals set forth in the declaration include putting 15 million people on life-saving antiretroviral therapy in low and middle-income countries by 2015 (about twice the number currently on therapy) and halving the number of tuberculosis-related deaths among people with HIV. The plan includes a “push towards” ending HIV in children in the next five years, and Member States also agreed to increase AIDS-related spending to reach between $22 billion and $24 billion in low- and middle-income countries by 2015…
Speakers including Global Fund and UNAIDS officials, two African health ministers, a U.S. State Department official and a Nigerian woman living with HIV addressed a packed room on the thorny issue of finding the financial resources for universal access to HIV treatment, prevention and support. A number of speakers lauded the progress in the AIDS response to date and the instrumental role of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in that response. State Department official John Monahan assured the audience that the United States was “more committed than ever” to the global AIDS response and also articulated a commitment to use every American tax dollar wisely and to coordinate efforts with the Global Fund to avoid duplication of effort and services. But he also noted the need to be realistic and the need for other donors and the private sector to do more to get the job done…
The second day of United Nations (UN) High-Level Meeting on AIDS activities culminated with an announcement by the head of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program representatives along with UNAIDS that they have set the goal of virtually eliminating mother-to-child transmission of AIDS by 2015.
At the star-studded afternoon session where the announcement was made, President Bill Clinton, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathon, actress Naomi Watts, musical artist and UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador Annie Lenox and others gathered to speak up for pregnant mothers and children affected by and infected with and at risk of HIV.
“It is too soon to halt our efforts and to be put off by the cost of treatment and budget cuts,” said United Nations (UN) President Joseph Deiss to the packed general assembly hall Wednesday morning at the opening of the 2011 UN High-Level Meeting on AIDS. Ten million still lack access to treatment and far too many men, women and children are still being infected with HIV, he said, and we have to continue to take care, treatment, prevention and support measures.
“I call on each and every one of you to take on the responsibility for the success of the battle against AIDS.”
Delegates from around the world convened in New York City for the meeting, which many predict will be the last UN meeting on AIDS.