Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message on World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December:
On this World AIDS Day, we focus attention on the inequalities that drive HIV and AIDS. It is still possible to end the epidemic by 2030. But, that will require stepped-up action and greater solidarity. The United Nations General Assembly recently adopted a bold new plan to accelerate progress, including new targets for 2025.
To beat AIDS — and build resilience against the pandemics of tomorrow — we need collective action. That includes harnessing the leadership of communities to drive change, combating stigma and eliminating discriminatory and punitive laws, policies and practices.
We must also dismantle financial barriers to health care and increase investment in vital public services to achieve universal health coverage for everyone, everywhere. This will ensure equal access to HIV prevention, testing, treatment and care, including COVID-19 vaccinations and services.
Together, let us recommit to end inequalities and end AIDS.