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Every single minute ‘a life is lost to AIDS,’ says UNAIDS deputy chief

By Executive Editor


Despite intense national efforts geared towards eliminating AIDS as a public health threat by 2030, the Deputy Executive Director for the UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Angeli Achrekar, says that so far, the “job isn’t done.” 

Ms. Achrekar spoke with Pauline Batista from UN News as UNAIDS launched its latest report on Tuesday.

The report is titled, Let Communities Lead. The report suggests the world can still end AIDS by the ambitious deadline, but only if communities on the frontlines get the full support they need from governments and donors. 

According to Achrekar, 39 million people are living with HIV while 40.4 million have died due to the AIDS related illnesses.

She adds that AIDS-deaths have declined by about 70% since they peaked in the early 2000s.

Achrekar notes that there are countries that are getting to eliminate AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.

“They are begining to achieve that target early. But, the job isn’t done.“

Every single minute, she adds, “a life is lost to AIDS. Every week, 4000 adolescents girls and young women are newly infected by HIV.“

Achrekar reveals that out of the 39 million that are living with HIV, over 9 million are still in need of life-saving treatment “which is out there, but they don’t have it.“

“So, the job is not yet done.  We have got to double down to make sre that we still focus and finish what we started,” Achrekar says.  

She, however, recognizes that the globe has made a lot of progress in HIV response. 

Achrekar urgest the government and organizations to fully respect and resource communities because they have a role to play.

This, as the World commemorates World AIDS Day under the theme: Let Communities Lead. 

Credit: Pauline Batista, UN News

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