Never before in the history of AIDS have we reached a moment where we are able to stand up and say with conviction the end of AIDS is in sight.
It has been a year of achievements, of collective action, of resilience and of courage. In spite of the economic downturn that has stretched the AIDS response to its limits, millions of lives have been saved, as HIV treatment and prevention efforts continue to show results.
World leaders have made new promises—bold, tangible and realistic. These promises now must be delivered in every country, every community and to every person in need.
Fortunately, leaders are standing up to say that an AIDS-free generation is possible and that no child should be born with HIV and no mother should die of AIDS.
The gulf between treatment and prevention has ended. Treatment is prevention.
The divide between health and AIDS has narrowed, as AIDS comes out of isolation and into integrated and holistic health services. The AIDS response has paved the path for a people-centred health delivery system, one that values and restores the respect and dignity of every individual.
The road before us is clear and we can accelerate ahead with smart investments, capitalizing on scientific advancements and evidence and respecting human rights. It is why world leaders must fully fund the AIDS response. The global investment target of US$ 22-24 billion is a shared responsibility—of all countries, donors and others. Only together can we secure the future and provide greater and long-term dividends.
Today, on this World AIDS Day, I call upon leaders, communities, parents, people living with HIV and young people to look forward and work towards a world with Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination and Zero AIDS-related deaths.
1 December 2011
Executive Director of UNAIDS
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations