On World AIDS Day Anneliese today called for concerted action to wipe out AIDS and HIV altogether in our lifetime.
The impact of HIV and AIDS continues to be devastating: 1.5 million people died of HIV and AIDS related problems in 2013, and a further 2.1 million people contracted HIV. In East and sub-Saharan Africa, it is estimated that 10.5 million have lost one or both parents as a result of AIDS. Although the scale of this problem seems daunting, there are concrete steps that can be taken to end this epidemic.
Research has identified meeting the "90-90-90" target as being crucial to stopping the spread of HIV and AIDS. This means 90% of people living with HIV knowing their HIV status, 90% of people who know their HIV-positive status undergoing treatment, and finally, 90% of people on treatment having suppressed viral loads- essentially, the amount of active HIV in a person's body. For these targets to be met, higher levels of investment are needed, particularly in communities where access to health care is limited. Healthcare workers across the world need to be trained and given sufficient equipment to be able prevent, diagnose and treat HIV.
Anneliese said: "2015 has been designated the European Year for Development -- a unique opportunity to focus on improving global health. Let's use this year to put pressure on governments across Europe to invest both in research and in the communities which are worst affected by HIV and AIDS. We need to make this a priority so that next year, on World AIDS Day 2015, we can look back at real progress that has been made towards ending HIV and AIDS."