MESSAGE ON WORLD AIDS DAY
1 December 2018
Thirty years after the first World AIDS Day, the response to HIV stands at a crossroads. Which way we turn may define the course of the epidemic—whether we will end AIDS by 2030, or whether future generations will carry on bearing the burden of this devastating disease.
More than 77 million people have become infected with HIV, and more than 35 million have died of an AIDS-related illness. Huge progress has been made in diagnosis and treatment, and prevention efforts have avoided millions of new contaminations.
Yet the pace of progress is not matching global ambition. New HIV infections are not falling rapidly enough. Some regions are lagging behind, and financial resources are insufficient. Stigma and discrimination are still holding people back, especially key populations— including gay men and other men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgenders, people who inject drugs, prisoners and migrants—and young women and adolescent girls. Moreover, one in four people living with HIV do not know that they have the virus, impeding them from making informed decisions on prevention, treatment and other care and support services.
There is still time — to scale-up testing for HIV; to enable more people to access treatment; to increase resources needed to prevent new infections; and to end the stigma. At this critical juncture, we need to take the right turn now.
Earlier today the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its long-awaited special report on global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius.
This report by the world’s leading climate scientists is an ear-splitting wake-up call to the world. It confirms that climate change is running faster than we are – and we are running out of time.
The Secretary-General is outraged by the series of terrorist attacks in Afghanistan today.
The attacks in Kabul and Kandahar caused numerous casualties among civilians,
emergency responders, and school children. The deliberate targeting of journalists
in the attack highlights once again the risks media professionals face in carrying out
their essential work. Those responsible for such crimes must be swiftly brought to
The Secretary-General extends his deepest condolences to the families of the victims
and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured.
Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General
New York, 30 April 2018
Secretary-General’s Message for 2016
Thirty-five years since the emergence of AIDS, the international community can look back with some pride but we must also look ahead with resolve and commitment to reach our goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
There has been real progress in tackling the disease. More people than ever are on treatment. Since 2010, the number of children infected through mother-to-child transmission has dropped by half. Fewer people die of AIDS-related causes each year. And people living with HIV are living longer lives.