THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

UNAIDS expresses commitment to eradicate HIV/AIDS

The Board of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS announced on Monday at its 32nd meeting that it is committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and a world free of HIV/AIDS.

At the meeting, which lasted three days in Geneva, the UNAIDS governing body, the Programme Coordinating Board, called on the organization to lead the way to defining what the AIDS response would be post-2015, when the MDGs are expected to be completed. The board announced it believes areas outside of health are important to the battle against the pandemic, including areas such as gender, education, inequality and governance.

"The goal of ending the AIDS epidemic should be integrated with the imperative to sustain health and ensure quality of life for billions of people," Executive Director of UNAIDS Michel Sidibé said. "This requires us to develop new leadership and new strategies to advance the future AIDS response post-2015."

The most pressing milestones to reach are the MDGs and the board called on U.N. Member States to ensure they live up to their end of the bargain in the final stretch. With 2015 fast approaching, leaders are also beginning to plan how to lay the foundation for a world with zero new cases of HIV and zero AIDS-related deaths.

"You've had so much success on the MDG agenda; it's the one thing we use to show that we can complete an agenda that's pretty tough," U.N. Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning Amina Mohammed said. "It's the legitimacy we use to address the post-2015 agenda."

UNAIDS's vision is to see a world with zero discrimination, zero new HIV infections and zero AIDS-related deaths.