While considerable progress has been made in reducing the rates of new HIV infections and expanding the availability of antiretroviral drugs, experts have warned that the global community must resist the temptation to “rest on its laurels” and instead redouble efforts to completely eradicate the virus.
Last week, the United Nation (UN) General Assembly discussed national progress towards meeting testing and treatment benchmarks.
Secretary General António Guterres said that while the world is making good progress towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030, progress remains "fragile and uneven", with young women and marginalised communities at higher risk.
The Secretary General called for stronger efforts to empower people to protect themselves, which he said should include providing a full range of sexual and reproductive health services and rights, harm reduction for people using drugs and access to antiretroviral treatment for young people living with the virus. “Prevention is the key to breaking the cycle of HIV transmission,” he said.
General Assembly President Miroslav Lajčák agreed that more must be done to end the AIDS epidemic despite the progress achieved to date. “We are on the right path and should be hopeful, but never complacent,” he added.