Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov:
Statement on World AIDS Day 2013
Vienna, 29 November 2013 - On 1 December, we will commemorate World AIDS Day; this year, and until 2015, the theme is "Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths".
These are big targets to achieve by 2015, but we all need to work towards these targets. HIV-related stigma and discrimination continue to impact the lives of people living with HIV and prevent so many others from accessing the services they need. Women, girls, people who use drugs, people in prison, sex workers and so many other vulnerable groups struggle without access to life-saving services because of who they are or what they do.
In 2014, UNODC will chair the UNAIDS Committee of Cosponsoring Organizations. I will use this opportunity to encourage all stakeholders in the HIV response to scale-up evidence-informed HIV interventions for all key populations.
I will also advocate for greater investment of national resources to ensure that programmes are effective, nationally-owned and sustainable.
I hope to report next year, on this occasion, that we have made considerable progress towards removing the hurdles that keep people who use drugs as well as people in prison from accessing the comprehensive HIV prevention, treatment and care service they need and deserve.
Getting to zero discrimination is a target that requires leadership and commitment at the personal level as well. I encourage everyone, starting this year, in our personal and professional lives, to play an active role and say no to HIV-related stigma and discrimination.