Tomorrow, December 1, 2010, we observe the 23rd World Aids Day. We join the multitude of people in marking the day in a more significant way possible.
We quote herein the message of UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
The message of Executive Director Michel Sidibe:
On this World AIDS Day we can be proud.
Globally we have reduced the number of new HIV infections and deaths by nearly 20%. This means less people are becoming infected with HIV and less people are dying from AIDS. 56 countries have either stabilized or significantly reduced the rate of new HIV infections.
For the first time, we have broken the trajectory of the AIDS epidemic and reached the first part of the Millennium Development Goal for HIV. We have achieved this amazing milestone because families, communities, governments—and UNAIDS have united the world in an unprecedented movement. We are prevailing…with political commitment, leadership from all sectors including leaders of faith…with science, with evidence, with human rights, and passion.
On this World AIDS Day we can remember.
Our successes have not come without sacrifice. Today we mourn friends and family—some 30 million people who have lost their lives to AIDS. An estimated 10 million people are waiting for treatment. We must remember that punitive laws and stigma still hurt too many people around the world.
On this World AIDS Day we can be hopeful.
With your commitment and that of UNAIDS and the UN family, we are changing the course of the AIDS epidemic. I have called for the virtual elimination of mother-to-child transmission by 2015.
Nothing gives me more hope than knowing that an AIDS free generation is possible in our lifetime. So on this World AIDS Day, take action today—together we can reach Zero new infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths!
Below is the message of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon:
Next year will mark the 30th anniversary of the AIDS epidemic. This milestone offers a moment to reflect — and to renew our resolve.
Over the past three decades, AIDS has caused untold suffering and death. But another story has unfolded through the years, one of the global community uniting with passion to take action and save lives. These efforts are making a real difference around the world.
Fewer people are becoming infected with HIV. Millions of people have 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.
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.
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.
To our friends and readers, please be safe always.