Statements and Webcast
H.E. Mr. Patrice Debré, AIDS Ambassador
9 June 2011
- Statement: French (Check against delivery)
PATRICE DEBRÉ, AIDS Ambassador of France, said his country had waged a considerable battle against the disease over the last 30 years, and it must continue. The rate of new HIV infections and transmissions was still too high, and the global community must not halt its efforts at the halfway mark. It must ensure universal access for all, so as to achieve the goal of zero new infections. Women and children were most affected and their rights must be guaranteed, he said, stressing the importance of outreach to drug users, sex workers and men who have sex with men. Additionally, the outcome document to be adopted on Friday should call for the decriminalization of homosexuality, he said.
Too often, HIV/AIDS and other health-care plans did not target vulnerable groups, he continued, emphasizing that programmes for preventing mother-to-child transmission must be well integrated into all health-care efforts. It was also important to continue the search for an HIV vaccine, he said. Treatment must be provided systematically, and financing for treatment and prevention must be bolstered and new financing methods found. To that end, France would increase its contribution by €60 million annually, he said, encouraging other countries also to bolster funding. He added that France supported the creation of an airplane ticket tax to fund treatment. Noting that the high cost of drugs was often a major obstacle to treatment, he stressed that organizations including WHO, UNAIDS, the Global Fund and others must act together. The struggle against HIV and AIDS was a collective responsibility, and there would be no progress without real political will, he added, reiterating France’s commitment to the struggle.