My name is Ama Sande, the interim UN Resident Coordinator in China.
Every year, on the 1st of December the world commemorates World AIDS Day. We show our support to people living with and affected by HIV and remember those who have lost their lives to AIDS. We also re-commit to doing better in their memory.
In 2020, our collective attention is fixed on the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on lives and livelihoods.
Pandemics show us that in a health crisis, no one is safe until everyone is safe. It is in this spirit that the World AIDS Day 2020 theme is about “global solidarity and shared responsibility”.
If we are to succeed in our global health responses, including the AIDS response, leaving people behind is not an option.
During lockdowns, we saw how Government joined forces with community groups in China to ensure vulnerable populations living with HIV had access to life-saving medications and to cater for the needs of people living with HIV. We also saw the commitment to get HIV prevention, treatment and care services back on track as well as to expand social protection services.
These efforts must continue, to provide people affected by HIV with information, services and social protection in these challenging times and to truly ensure we leave no one behind.
On our own, we cannot eliminate the many inequalities that fuel the global epidemic of HIV, and we cannot meet the SDG target of ending AIDS as a public health threat.
I therefore call on the government, civil society and the people of China to play their part; to work towards the end of AIDS as a public health threat and make the world a healthier, more inclusive and just place.