South Africa urges world to double efforts against HIV/AIDS

South Africa urges world to double efforts against HIV/AIDS
# 12 June 2012 00:53 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. South Africa on Monday called on the international community to double its efforts to promote the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, saying "no single country can be successful in the fight" against the epidemic, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

Doctor Mashabane, deputy South African permanent representative to the United Nations, made the appeal as he was speaking at a plenary session of the UN General Assembly on HIV/AIDS.

"No single country can be successful in the fight against this epidemic," he said. "Partnership therefore becomes critical."

"Much progress has been made by the work in the fight against AIDS, but it is unlikely we will be able to achieve our goals in 2015," he said. "We need to double our efforts to order to promote universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support to those who need them."

Financial resources remain a challenge, he said. "We have observed that HIV funding had decreased since 2010 as only 15 billion U.S. dollars was available for HIV response in 2010 against the target of reaching 24 billion U.S. dollars in HIV investment by 2015."

"Access to HIV drug is another challenge as costs are very high, " he said. "Perhaps we need to consider investing in local manufacturing of generic drugs to reduce costs."

"More efforts need to be enhanced in areas such as greater involvement of people living with AIDS; gender inequality and the empowerment of women and girls, especially in exercising their reproductive rights and access to quality education; gender-based violence and promotion and protection of human rights of populations at higher risk who still face stigma and discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity," he said.

"The vision of an AIDS free-world can only be realized if we intensify our efforts for the effective and more sustainable AIDS response," he added.