Statements and Webcast
H.E. Dr. Rafael Espada, Vice President
8 June 2011
- Statement: Spanish (Check against delivery)
RAFAEL ESPADA, Vice President of Guatemala, said thirty years ago, the world had been shaken by the news of a deadly virus, perhaps wrongly associated exclusively to sexual promiscuity and drug use. Medical services had alerted the world to the medical horror and rightly had examined the problem from a medical, ethical and global governance viewpoint. The United Nations had understood early on that a global threat required a global response and, during the 2001 General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS, 189 States had adopted a Declaration of Commitment. UNAIDS also was created, unleashing a frontal attack on the plague, with a view to controlling the situation by 2015.
In Guatemala, those goals had been taken on board, he said, especially in the Ministry of Health, which had focused on prevention work. The Government also had improved the supply chain for antiretroviral drugs, increased epidemiological research to better interpret data, and improved information programmes to end discrimination against HIV/AIDS sufferers. In its fight, Guatemala had received help from the Global Fund. At the same time, its policies were part of regional policies and linked to realistic economic plans for countries. Under the Council of Central American Ministers of Health, prevention efforts involved a human, political, and social approach. The Government also had launched a “Get Tested” campaign to raise awareness and promote the use of health services.