Executive Director, UNAIDS and Under-Secretary-General, United Nations
We have an amazing opportunity. The end of AIDS is within our grasp. We even know how: by letting communities lead.
Around the world, communities have led every step of the AIDS response. In the 1990s and 2000s, communities led the fight to bring down the price of HIV treatment to make it accessible. Communities have fought to overturn laws that criminalise LGBTQI people.
Communities leading global HIV support
Communities have transformed global health, taking treatment services beyond hospitals and clinics right to the people who need them most. Communities are leading service delivery, especially to the most marginalised people.
Today, 30 million people living with HIV are on lifesaving treatment. New HIV infections have been reduced by 60% since the peak in 1995, and deaths have been reduced by 70% since the peak in 2004.
Today, 30 million people living with
HIV are on lifesaving treatment.
Supporting and empowering communities
However, the end of AIDS is being held back because communities are not getting the support they need. Community leadership is unacknowledged, under-resourced and, in some places, even under attack. All governments across the world need to recognise the critical role of community leadership and resource communities. They must empower communities by providing the necessary space for them to carry out their lifesaving work.
Globally, 9.2 million people living with HIV are still not on lifesaving treatment, but by supporting communities as leaders in the response, we can reach all those still left behind. Communities are not in the way — they light the way. With communities in the lead, we can end AIDS.