Statements and Webcast
H. E. Mr. Minas Hadjimichael, Permanent Representative
10 June 2011
- Statement: English (Check against delivery)
MINAS HADJIMICHAEL ( Cyprus) said his country had a low HIV/AIDS prevalence rate of 0.1 per cent. Since the disease had first appeared in Cyprus, his Government had been addressing it as a top priority. It had set up time-bound action plans against the epidemic that were systematically updated and adjusted, based on new knowledge and experience, as well as technological advances. Cyprus’ policy was in line with European Union directives. In 2008, the Government had updated national epidemiological surveillance to confirm with requirements of the EuroHIV programme. HIV prevention and human rights protection were the cornerstone of Cyprus’ strategic plan through 2014. Treatment, including a combination of antiretroviral therapies, care, voluntary counselling and testing, were free for all Cypriot and European Union citizens, as well as for political refugees.
He noted that data patterns of HIV infection were stable. Nevertheless, the Government continued to strictly monitor the situation by conducting studies to asses the threat posed by drug trafficking and use, and the intense cross-border population movements, including across the dividing line. Health and HIV/AIDS were important priorities for CyprusAid, the island’s development cooperation service, which had financed several health projects on HIV and sexual and reproductive health rights. As of 2010, more than €2 million had been channelled to complete health projects or those under way in HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention, as well to combat malnutrition in those afflicted with the disease. In 2009, Cyprus had joined UNITAID, the leading group of innovative financing, and was contributing €2.5 million over six years. Innovative financial mechanisms were important for mobilizing resources and should be encouraged and explored.