Statements and Webcast
H.E. Mr. David Lozada, Jr., Vice-Minister of Health
9 June 2011
- Statement: English (Check against delivery)
DAVID LOZADA JR., Under-Secretary in the Department of Health of the Philippines, noted that the global community was expected to implement revolutionary strategies for an AIDS-free world as his country and six others faced challenges similar to those prevailing during the early years of the epidemic, when high-prevalence countries had struggled to reduce the impact of the then-rapidly spreading disease. He contrasted that with at least 33 other countries that had been able to reduce their HIV incidence by 25 per cent between 2001 and 2009, noting that such efforts to reduce the burden were generally believed to be consistent with targeted outcomes.
He said it was important that the accumulated experience to reverse the trends of the past 30 years be shared with similarly affected countries, which today struggled from inadequate resources to sustain universal access and eliminate discrimination. While following a “best practice approach” model was advantageous, HIV was a chronic illness with acute life-threatening complications at later stages, which meant no country was exempt from having to cope with significant numbers of afflicted persons. That was true despite the zero strategy and gains achieved from universal access. It should also be recognized that factors that influenced the evolution of the epidemic remained complex, as they could also influence other developmental issues, such as poverty and sustainable development. It was paramount that a zero strategy be sound and realistic, given the evolving epidemiology of the disease, the emergence of new technology to halt its spread, and the collective effort to end the epidemic altogether.