We can end AIDS

July 31th, 2012

“We can end AIDS,” said UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibé as he opened the 19th International AIDS Conference, July 2012, Washington. “But this opportunity will evaporate if we do not act.”

This Conference has arrived at a historic turning point in the fight against HIV/AIDS, when universal access to treatment could put an end to a thirty-year pandemic, with antiretrovirals not only allowing HIV-positive people to live in relatively good health, but also preventing transmission of HIV.

However, while universal access to treatment was promised for 2010, insufficient funding has meant that only half of HIV-positive people in low- and middle-income countries currently have access to retroviral drugs, despite recent progress that has given 8 million people access to treatment according to UNAIDS figures.

The current world economic crisis jeopardizes the stability of international aid to fund treatment. In particular, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS has seen its funding drop.

Stigmatization and discrimination against HIV-positive people, criminalization of homosexuality, and inequality of all kinds also remain major obstacles to accessing prevention, detection, and treatment of HIV/AIDS.

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