Statements and Webcast
H.E. Dr. Nelson Eduardo Soares Martins, Minister of Health
9 June 2011
- Statement: English (Check against delivery)
NELSON EDUARDO SOARES MARTINS, Minister for Health of Timor-Leste, noted that, because his country was emerging from conflict, it faced particular challenges in establishing its health systems and addressing HIV and AIDS. From 2003 to 2010, 2,002 cases of HIV, including 15 among children under the age of five, had been reported. Most of the new infections were among those between ages 15 and 24. Of the 39 people receiving antiretroviral therapy, 3 were children. Further outlining his country’s care and treatment response, he particularly thanked Brazil for its support.
Although Timor-Leste remained a low-prevalence country, its transmission rates were high, he said. In addition, its high population of youth was particularly vulnerable to HIV and AIDS. In its efforts to combat HIV and AIDS, the Government was focused on prevention, as well as on larger legal and social justice issues surrounding the epidemic. He cited collaboration among diverse groups, including civil society, the Government, the military and faith-based groups, in that regard. He further noted that the Government had established an enabling environment in which the issues of HIV and AIDS could be openly addressed. It was also working to scale up care and treatment along the border, to support life-based education, to ensure access to treatment to those infected and to strengthen broader health services. He voiced support for the goals of zero new infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths, stressing that continued research and increased financial support were essential for reaching those goals. “We must act as one global community to protect the lives of future generations,” he said.