STOCKHOLM, GENEVA – This week, we celebrate the tremendous progress that has been made in the struggle against HIV and AIDS. In many countries with strong health systems, HIV is no longer a death sentence, but a chronic condition. And Africa has reached a critical milestone: each year, there are now more Africans starting HIV treatment than being infected.
Still, even as we celebrate, we must also mourn the 1.1 million people who lost their lives to the disease this year. HIV still infects 6,000 people every day, and AIDS remains a leading cause of death among children, adolescents, and women in Africa.
The movement against AIDS has inspired all of us to help the people who continue to be left behind, and to commit to ending AIDS once and for all. Fortunately, we already have the know-how, resources, and, crucially, the political momentum to do this; and at the High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS this year, United Nations member states made ambitious commitments that will put us on the fast track toward our goal.
What’s more, in September, Canada hosted a successful financing conference for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, which brought in almost $13 billion, replenishing the Global Fund for 2017-2019. Meanwhile, individual countries have increased their domestic investments, and international partners – big and small – have maintained their support, which is how we will reach the $26 billion needed for the global AIDS response in 2020.