The Secretary-General Message for World AIDS Day 2023
Baku, December 1, AZERTAC
Every year, on 1 December, the world commemorates World AIDS Day. People around the world unite to show support for people living with and affected by HIV and to remember those who lost their lives to AIDS, according to United Nations.
The world can end AIDS, with communities leading the way. Organisations of communities living with, at risk of, or affected by HIV are the frontline of progress in the HIV response. Communities connect people with person-centred public health services, build trust, innovate, monitor implementation of policies and services, and hold providers accountable.
But communities are being held back in their leadership. Funding shortages, policy and regulatory hurdles, capacity constraints, and crackdowns on civil society and on the human rights of marginalised communities, are obstructing the progress of HIV prevention and treatment services. If these obstacles are removed, community-led organisations can add even greater impetus to the global HIV response, advancing progress towards the end of AIDS.
This World AIDS Day is more than a celebration of the achievements of communities; it is a call to action to enable and support communities in their leadership roles.
“World AIDS Day arrives at a defining moment.
AIDS-related deaths have fallen by almost 70 per cent since their peak in 2004, and new HIV infections are at the lowest point since the 1980s.
But AIDS still takes a life every minute.
We can — and must — end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.
Reaching this goal means heeding this year’s theme: Let Communities Lead.
The path to ending AIDS runs through communities.
From connecting people to the treatment, services and support they need — to the grassroots activism pushing for action so all people can realize their right to health.
Supporting those on the frontlines of the battle against AIDS is how we win.
That means placing community leadership at the centre of HIV plans, programmes, budgets and monitoring efforts.
We must also remove barriers to community leadership, and ensure space for local civil society groups to take forward their vital work.
Above all, we need funding.
The AIDS response in low and middle-income countries needs over 8 billion dollars more per year to be fully funded.
This must include scaled-up funding for local programmes led by people living with HIV, and prevention initiatives led by communities.
AIDS is beatable.
Let’s finish the job by supporting communities to end this scourge in their neighbourhoods, their countries and around the world,” Secretary-General António Guterres said.