Statements and Webcast
H.E. Mrs. Simona Miculescu, Permanent Representative
9 June 2011
- Statement: English (Check against delivery)
SIMONA MIRELA MICULESCU (Romania) said classical epidemiological dogmas should be replaced with an avant-garde approach, based on therapy, not on rhetoric. Facing a true HIV/AIDS epidemic among small children at the beginning of the 1990s, Romania had taken measures which then would have seemed unimaginable, including establishing a special centre for AIDS patients and implementing antiretroviral treatments instead of simply isolating persons affected by the virus. Public-private partnerships undertaken in 1997 resulted in the establishment of nine regional centres dealing with the disease working to create a national database, introduce antiretroviral treatments, and implement testing for vulnerable groups, as well as the testing of couples before marriage.
Those measures contributed to the sustainability of Romania’s national program, resulting in the granting of a second chance at life for HIV infected children, and in creating an epidemiological profile. After 26 years of the evolution of the HIV epidemic, the resulted had proven that without a doubt, there was political will that could find a solution for any problem, even one of public health. For its part, Romania had established the European Academy on HIV/AIDS and Infectious Diseases which provided professional training, established standards of care, and promoted research in the field. If there was truly to be a “cure” for HIV/AIDS — so that it was not just words — every one must: ensure free access to therapy; ensure sustainable prevention of vertical transmission from mother to child; and proactively address vulnerable groups.