The United Nations commemorates World AIDS Day on Tuesday, calling for ‘global solidarity and shared responsibility’ to overcome not only COVID-19 but also AIDS – another global pandemic that erupted nearly 40 years after it broke out. still with us.
Secretary-General António Guterres, in a message, urged the world not to lose sight of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.
“Despite significant successes, the state of emergency for AIDS is not over yet. “Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) still infects 1.7 million people annually and kills about 690,000 people,” he said.
Mr. Guterres emphasized the impact of inequalities, which affected the most vulnerable. This is evident from the coronavirus pandemic.
‘COVID-19 was a wake-up call for the world. Inequalities in health affect all of us. Nobody is safe unless we are all safe, ”he added, emphasizing:
Wealth should not determine whether people receive the necessary health care. We need a COVID-19 vaccine and HIV treatments and care that are affordable and available to everyone, everywhere. “
‘Health is a human right’
The UN chief reiterated that health should be a top priority for investments to achieve universal health coverage. He put an end to stigma and discrimination by putting people at the center and grounding AIDS and COVID-19 responses in human rights and gender responsive approaches.
“Let us realize on this World Aids Day that the world, in order to overcome COVID-19 and end AIDS, must have solidarity and share responsibility,” he said. Guterres said.
‘Power within communities’
In a separate message, Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of the United Nations Program on HIV / Aids (UNAIDS), emphasized that people within communities who were ‘inspired by a shared responsibility towards each other’ helped to achieve several victories against To achieve HIV.
The force is needed “more than ever before” in the fight against HIV and COVID-19, she added.
“In response to COVID-19, the world cannot make the same mistakes as in the fight against HIV, when millions of countries have died in developing countries awaiting treatment,” Ms Byanyima stressed.
Fair access to vaccines against COVID-19 must be ensured, she went on to call on companies to “openly share their technology and knowledge” and relinquish their intellectual property rights to scale and speed vaccine production needed “to protect. everyone” and get the world economy back on track.
World AIDS Day is commemorated annually on December 1 and brings together people from around the world to raise awareness, remember those who have passed on and celebrate victories, such as increased access to treatment and prevention services.