Geneva – The UN says China has achieved remarkable progress in tackling HIV and contributed a lot to assisting the developing countries in this regard.
Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), made this known on Wednesday in Geneva.
“China has stopped a major public health threat by acting fast and decisively. We have seen strong political commitment at the highest level, from Premier Wen Jiabao to President Xi Jinping, all have given priority to HIV,’’Sidibe said.
He said that the First Lady, Prof. Peng Liyuan who was presented with the UNAIDS Award for Outstanding Achievements in January, has also been an important champion for HIV prevention, particularly for children and young people, ensuring inclusion and dignity.
With global efforts, enormous progress has been made during the past 10 years.
He said that no fewer than 18 million people now have access to lifesaving treatment, new HIV infections among children have been reduced by 50 per cent since 2010 and AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 45 per cent since the peak in 2005.
“UNAIDS strongly believes that if we overcome these challenges we can end the AIDS epidemic by 2030,’’ Sidibe said.
After taking part in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in May in Beijing, Sidibe applauded China’s contribution in tackling HIV worldwide.
“China has taken a leading role in helping with establishment of an African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
“This will help build a foundation for good health cooperation within Africa and with partners around the world,’’ he said.
He said that UNAIDS encourages China to continue to help build the capacity of health systems in Africa from building hospitals and rural clinics, to increasing laboratory capacity and transfer of knowledge.