UNAIDS establishes goals for ending AIDS threat

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) concluded a three-day session of discussion and debate in Geneva on Thursday that established a framework for combating the disease in the future.

The meeting of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board, the 34th of its kind, focused on ensuring the inclusion of HIV in post-2015 sustainable development goals, social protection and ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

The Board also called on UNAIDS and U.N. member states to pursue a clear commitment to ending AIDS as a public health threat, and stressed that achieving that goal includes the reduction of new HIV infections, stigma and discrimination of those living with HIV and AIDS-related deaths by 90 percent compared to 2010 levels.

Michel Sidibé, the executive director of UNAIDS, encouraged Board members to develop new and unconventional ways to fight the AIDS epidemic.

"This is a singular opportunity to set an ambitious course that will ensure that we have the political space and resources to get the job done," Sidibé said.

Participants and observers from U.N. member states attended the meeting, along with representatives from international organizations, civil society and non-governmental organizations. The three-day event was chaired by Australia and vice chaired by Zimbabwe, with El Salvador elected as rapporteur for 2014.