AIDS treatment must be expanded to millions more people – Ban

23 September 2009 – While praising the progress made in fighting HIV and AIDS, with more than 4 million people in developing countries now on AIDS treatment compared with virtually no one five years ago, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for more funding and “a more ambitious approach” to save lives and help mothers and children around the world.

“We urgently need major new advances,” he told a side event of the opening day of the General Assembly’s General Debate. “We have effective drugs. There is no reason any mother should die from AIDS. There is no cause for any child to be born with HIV. If we work hard enough, we can virtually eliminate mother-to-child transmission…

“We all agree that the world must scale up its response to HIV among women and children. But we are also realistic about what it takes to get the job done: more resources, used more efficiently, with a commitment to equity.”

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, First Lady of France and Ambassador for the protection of mothers and children against AIDS of the UN-backed Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, called on world leaders to commit to eliminating the transmission of HIV from mothers to children by 2015.

To reach that goal, the number of HIV-positive pregnant women receiving effective antiretroviral treatment must be doubled within 18 months, she said.

The Global Fund, the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) backed Mrs. Bruni-Sarkozy’s call to action.

“Carla Bruni-Sarkozy’s vision of a world where mothers no longer fear transmitting HIV to their babies is not a utopia,” Global Fund Executive Director Michel Kazatchkine said. “We have the tools to achieve the target of nearly eliminating HIV transmission in every country in the world.”


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