Following is UN Secretary‑General António Guterres’ message for World AIDS Day, to be observed today:
The world is well on its way to meeting the target of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. Nearly 21 million people living with HIV now have access to treatment — a number that should grow to more than 30 million by 2020. AIDS‑related deaths and new HIV infections are declining. There is great hope that the world can deliver on its promise. But much more needs to be done.
Sadly, some parts of the response to HIV are lagging behind. In some regions of the world, hard-won successes are being reversed, with rising numbers of new HIV infections and AIDS‑related deaths.
Women and girls continue to be disproportionally affected by HIV, particularly in Africa. Men are less likely to know that they are living with the virus, less likely to seek treatment for it, and more likely to transmit HIV as a result. Too many people are unable to access the services they need to treat their illness or to stay healthy.
On this World AIDS Day, I call for a renewed commitment to finish what we have started and to make the AIDS epidemic a thing of the past.