News / Health

UN Chief Calls for End to AIDS Within 10 Years

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addresses diplomats in the United Nations General Assembly for the 2011 high-level UN conference on the global AIDS response, at UN Headquarters in New York, June 8, 2011
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addresses diplomats in the United Nations General Assembly for the 2011 high-level UN conference on the global AIDS response, at UN Headquarters in New York, June 8, 2011
Margaret Besheer

At the start of a high-level U.N. conference on the global AIDS response, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the international community had gathered not to fight the disease, but to end it. Citing progress over the last 30 years since HIV and AIDS were first discovered, Ban said the goal now is to end the disease within the next 10 years.

It is an ambitious goal: zero new infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. The U.N. chief said it is possible, but would require bold action.

“Today’s historic meeting is a call to action," said Ban. "First, we need partners to come together in the global solidarity as never before. That is the only way to truly provide universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and care by 2015. Second, we have to lower costs and deliver better programs. Third, we must commit to accountability. Fourth, we must ensure that our HIV responses promote health, human rights, security and dignity of women and girls. Fifth, we must trigger a prevention revolution, harnessing the power of youth and new communications technology to reach the entire world.”

Ban said if the international community takes these five steps, AIDS can be stopped.

“We can end the fear," he said. "We can stop the suffering and death it brings. We can get to an AIDS-free world.”

The executive director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé, noted how far the world has come in its understanding about HIV - the virus that causes AIDS - and the illness itself. He said 30 years ago this mystery disease was seen as a gay plague and there was great fear surrounding those who were infected. He said this image is part of the history of the AIDS movement, which, he said is the story of people breaking the conspiracy of silence, demanding equality and dignity, and of confronting society’s wrongs.

Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, addresses diplomats in the United Nations General Assembly for the high-level UN conference on the global AIDS response, at UN Headquarters in New York, June 8, 2011
Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, addresses diplomats in the United Nations General Assembly for the high-level UN conference on the global AIDS response, at UN Headquarters in New York, June 8, 2011

“It is the story of people’s outrage and a passionate call for social justice," said Sidibé. "Over the past 30 years, AIDS has forged a social new compact between the global north and the south. And we mobilized unprecedented resources with your leadership and we managed to produce live-saving results for people.”

Sidibé said this has led to great achievements in the fight against AIDS. New infections are down worldwide by nearly 25 percent in the last 10 years. In Africa, where the majority of the 34 million people living with AIDS live, more people are receiving antiretroviral treatment early, when it can have the greatest live-saving impact.

Overall, Sidibé said, there are 56 countries - 36 of which are in Africa - that have stabilized the epidemic and reduced the number of new infections significantly. He pointed to great strides in South Africa, India and China.

But even as developing countries have made progress, he warned that the value of life is not the same across the world. Sidibé noted that 1.8 million people die of AIDS every year in developing countries, while in developed nations, AIDS has become a treatable, chronic disease.

He said that while there are 6.6 million people receiving treatment in low- and middle-income countries, another 9 million are still waiting for treatment. In the global north, a new generation is being born HIV-free, while each year 360,000 babies are born with HIV in the south.

Sidibé told the 30 heads of state and government and other leaders gathered at the three-day conference that this is a defining moment. He said it is time to agree on a transformational agenda to end this epidemic.

You May Like

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs