KARACHI- António Guterres, UN Secretary‑General recently delivered a special message for World AIDS Day through a press release on the official website of United Nations (UN). The message was titled as ‘Need to Harness Community-Led Organizations in Fight to End Epidemic’.
The UN Secretary General said in his message that The United Nations was committed to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. This would require a continuous collaborative effort to fulfill the Sustainable Development Goal. The UN along with Governments, civil society and other partners had been working to scale up the access to health services. This is done with the aim to halt new HIV infections. More than 23 million people living with HIV were receiving treatment in 2018.
The message read that communities all over the world have joined together for the cause. The aim of the cause was to help people claiming their rights, promote access to stigma‑free health services, ensure that services reach the most vulnerable and marginalized, and press to change laws that discriminate. The theme of 2019 observance highlighted communities that could make the difference.
The message further highlighted that according to latest records, 38 million people were living with HIV and resources for the response to the epidemic declined by $1 billion last year. The need to harness the role of community‑led organizations had increased more than ever. Such communities were the need of the hour that advocated for their peers, delivered HIV services, defended human rights and provided support.
The message ended as, “Where communities are engaged, we see change happen. We see investment lead to results. And we see equality, respect and dignity. With communities, we can end AIDS.”
World AIDS Day is observed on 1 December every year.