It has been 25 years since the first Aids case was reported. The pandemic is having a devastating effect on families, communities, societies and economies. It is a disaster effectively wiping out the development gains of decades and sabotaging the future.
The most frightening thing is that all related infections can be prevented. We must move from rhetoric to action, and action on an unprecedented intensity and scale.
We need to break the silence, banish stigma and discrimination and ensure total inclusiveness within the response against Aids.
We need bold initiatives to prevent new infections and large-scale action to prevent mother-to-child transmission, and continue the international effort of searching for vaccines. We need access to medicines and we need to be focused, strategic and to mobilise all our resources and alliances, and to sustain the effort.
We need to aggressively strengthen human resources and health systems and invest in research and development of drugs, including new prevention and treatment interventions.
Globally, Aids continues to grow with some evidence of resurging epidemics. Reports challenge us to put all stops to new infections and unnecessary deaths. With 12000 (sic) new infections every day, we must beef up efforts on HIV prevention and access to treatment.
Thabo Sephuma, Geneva Switzerland