UN Secretary-General's message for World AIDS Day 2018

On World AIDS Day, UNODC calls for increasing HIV testing for people who use drugs and those in prisons

Thirty years after the first World AIDS Day, the HIV response is at a crossroads. The chosen path can set the course of the epidemic is we will end AIDS by 2030, or future generations will continue carrying the burden of this devastating disease.

Over 77 million people have been infected with HIV and more than 35 million have died from AIDS related diseases. Great progress has been made in the diagnosis and treatment and prevention efforts avoided million new infections.

However, the pace of progress does not correspond to global ambition. The number of new HIV infections is not falling at the required speed. Some regions have been left behind and the financial resources are insufficient. The stigma and discrimination are still left people behind, especially key populations, including people who inject drugs, sex workers, transgender people, people deprived of freedom, gay men and other men who have sex with men and young women and girls. In addition, one in four people living with HIV do not know that living with the virus, which prevents it to make informed decisions about prevention, treatment and other assistance and support.

There is still time, to extend the reach of HIV testing; allow more people access to treatment; increase resources to prevent new infections; and end the stigma. At this critical time, we need to move forward on the right track.

António Guterres

UN Secretary-General 

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