‘Dufatanye Turandure SIDA’ is the text message sent to all Rwandans by Rwanda Biomedical Centre as the world celebrates the World AIDS Day.
Every year on December 1st, is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection and mourning those who have died of the disease.
Winnie Byanyima Executive Director UNAIDS in her message today said the world agreed on a bold plan that, if leaders fulfil it, will end AIDS by 2030.
“AIDS remains a pandemic, the red light is flashing and only by moving fast to end the inequalities that drive the pandemic can we overcome it,” she said.
She said that without the inequality-fighting approach we need to end AIDS, the world would also struggle to end the COVID-19 pandemic and would remain unprepared for the pandemics of the future. That would be profoundly dangerous for us all.
According to her, the progress in AIDS, which was already off track, is now under even greater strain as the COVID-19 crisis continues to rage, disrupting HIV prevention and treatment services, schooling, violence prevention programmes and more.
“On our current trajectory, we aren’t bending the curve fast enough and risk an AIDS pandemic lasting decades. We have to move faster on a set of concrete actions agreed by United Nations Member States to address the inequalities that are driving HIV.”
“We urgently need sufficient community-led and community-based infrastructure as part of a strong public health system, underpinned by robust civil society accountability,” She added.
Byanyima explained that the world needs policies to ensure fair and affordable access to science. Every new technology should reach each and everyone who needs it without delay, “We need to protect our health workers and expand their numbers to meet our urgent needs.”
“We must protect human rights and build trust in health systems. It is these that will ensure we close the inequality gaps and end AIDS. But they are too often applied unevenly, are underfunded and are underappreciated,” Byanyima said.