UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday sought "continuous collaborative effort" to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as committed to in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
"The United Nations, governments, civil society and other partners have been working together to scale up access to health services and to halt new HIV infections," he said in a message marking the World AIDS Day that falls on December 1. The UN chief said more than 23 million people living with HIV were receiving treatment in 2018.
Guterres said communities around the world are at the heart of this response - helping people to claim their rights, promoting access to stigma-free health and social services, ensuring that services reach the most vulnerable and marginalized, and pressing to change laws that discriminate, reports UNB.
"As the theme of this year's observance rightly highlights, communities make the difference," he said adding that yet unmet needs remain.Guterres said a record 38 million people are living with HIV, and resources for the response to the epidemic declined by $1 billion last year.
"More than ever we need to harness the role of community-led organizations that advocate for their peers, deliver HIV services, defend human rights and provide support," he said.
Guterres said where communities are engaged, they see change happen."We see investment lead to results. And we see equality, respect and dignity. With communities, we can end AIDS," he added.
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