Statements and Webcast
H. E. Dr. Ruhal Haque, Minister of Health and Family Welfare
8 June 2011
- Statement: English (Check against delivery)
RUHAL HAQUE, Minister of Health and Family Welfare of Bangladesh, said that he believed the High-level Meeting would result in a strong declaration regarding the care and treatment of HIV/AIDS. The international community had achieved success in fighting the epidemic in the past, but it was a matter of great concern that more than 7,000 new cases of infection occurred every day, with women and adolescent girls facing the highest risk. Worldwide estimates also showed that 5 million young people were living with HIV. That was the result of factors like social inequality, neglect and social exclusion. It was time to protect adolescent girls and young women, so that their journey to adulthood was not affected by HIV. Bangladesh advocated for a full range of services, so that the HIV/AIDS epidemic did not inflict a disproportionate burden on women. Mr. Haque asked Member States to support the development of national health systems, so that women living with HIV were provided with sufficient assistance.
Bangladesh was considered a low-HIV-prevalent country, but there were cases of full-blown AIDS patients and it was possible that cases of HIV/AIDS went unreported because of the stigma, he said. Underlying causes of the cases included poverty, gender inequality and the high level of mobility of the population, including immigration to other countries for employment. Bangladesh had made progress in fighting the epidemic, but factors such as low condom use and men having sex with men all contributed to the spread of HIV in the country. The Government had to continue to provide support to the most at-risk populations. Global and regional efforts also had to continue. Bangladesh called upon developed countries to enhance their financial support, as well as to eliminate intellectual property and lower the costs of drugs. There was no room for complacency; the international community had to aim for zero infections, zero discrimination and zero related deaths.