Following is UN Secretary‑General António Guterres’ message for World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December:
Ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030, as we committed to in the Sustainable Development Goals, will require a continuous collaborative effort. The United Nations, Governments, civil society and other partners have been working together to scale up access to health services and to halt new HIV infections. More than 23 million people living with HIV were receiving treatment in 2018.
Communities around the world are at the heart of this response — helping people to claim their rights, promoting access to stigma‑free health and social services, ensuring that services reach the most vulnerable and marginalized, and pressing to change laws that discriminate. As the theme of this year’s observance rightly highlights, communities make the difference.
Yet unmet needs remain. A record 38 million people are living with HIV and resources for the response to the epidemic declined by $1 billion last year. More than ever we need to harness the role of community‑led organizations that advocate for their peers, deliver HIV services, defend human rights and provide support.
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.
For information media. Not an official record.