Statements and Webcast
H. E. Dr. Jose Angel Cordova Villalobos, Minister for Health
8 June 2011
- Statement: English (Check against delivery)
JOSE ANGEL CORDOVA VILLALOBOS, Minister for Health of Mexico, said that 33.3 million people were living with HIV in the world today and new infections had declined by 20 per cent in the last decade. Latin America had the highest coverage rate for antiretroviral treatment, with 51 per cent. It was necessary to establish global and regional alliances, including people living with HIV, academics, scientists, and the United Nations, to respond in a coordinated fashion and comply with international goals and political declarations. Today was the time to reaffirm the obligation to adopt a multisector response which was vigorous and sustainable for the coming decades. To promote a more effective response, all countries must have timely and sustainable mechanisms for treatment. The costs of antiretroviral drugs needed to be reduced. Efforts had to be stepped up to increase prevention strategies focused on groups that were most at risk, without overlooking actions concerning the general population.
Following the idea of UNAIDS to “know your epidemic, know your response,” Mexico generated national data to understand the social and health factors surrounding the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The Government gave greater attention to men who had sex with men, sex workers, drug users, and transgendered, as well as paid attention to migrant populations, vulnerable women and prison inmates. Another priority was to eliminate vertical transmission, as it was unacceptable that boys and girls were born today with HIV or syphilis. It was necessary to promote user-friendly health services and sex education to prevent new infections in present and future generations. Mexico called upon all countries to ensure that their actions were based on respect for human rights and a gender-equity perspective, free of discrimination, homophobia and violence. It was not a time for complacency or censorship, but rather a time to work together and move forward united.