IPPF wants renewed commitment to AIDS free world

Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - Ahead of the World AIDS day celebration on 1 December, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has called for a renewed global commitment to an AIDS-free world with no one left behind, according to a statement from the London-based organisation, made available to PANA here on Friday.

“There is a need to tackle the HIV response using a rights-based and inclusive approach. Efforts must focus on key populations such as sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender people, migrants, prisoners and people who use drugs," the statement added.

Globally, there are currently 35 million people living with HIV who will need treatment for the rest of their lives. This is despite the introduction of the new World Health Organisation (WHO) treatment guidelines in 2013.

According to the IPPF, only 34% of the 26 million people currently eligible are actually receiving treatment. Though the pace of the epidemic is slowing, there are still 2.3 million new infections in 2012 and 1.6 million deaths.

Stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS still remains a major obstacle.

However, the IPPF described as premature remarks about the end of AIDS in the face of the staggering figure with declining funding to fight the disease.

The IPPF’s Director General, Tewodros Melesse, noted in the statement that, “We fully support UNAIDS vision of a world free from AIDS and their vision of zero deaths from AIDS, zero new HIV infections and zero HIV stigma and discrimination. But there is a danger of some complacency creeping in with some media announcements about the end of AIDS. It is better to say that the beginning of the end of AIDS is in sight, but if we rest for just one moment the progress we are making can easily be derailed."

The organisation believed that efforts must be made to address the rise in new HIV infections in middle-income countries, generalized epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa, the scourge of sexual and gender-based violence, as well as Homophobia in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and many parts of Africa, in an attempt to achieve the goals of reducing the spread of the epidemic.

“As the world forges new development goals, IPPF supports the focus on universal health coverage in the post-2015 discussions, but this must include equity for all, and specific indicators on HIV. What gets measured gets funded," IPPF’s Senior Adviser on HIV, Alan Smith, said in the statement.

The World Aids day has been celebrated across the globe on 1 December every year since 1988.

The Theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Getting to Zero’. It is dedicated to elevate the awareness of AIDS pandemic sources by spreading of HIV infectivity.

Civil society organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations and Government organise programmes primarily to draw attention to the disease.
-0- PANA SB/VAO 29Nov2013

29 نوفمبر 2013 10:49:14

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