UNAIDS Board reiterates the importance of advancing the AIDS response to end the epidemic by 2030

Photo: UNAIDS

Photo: UNAIDS

Geneva, 6 July 2015 – The 36th meeting of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board has concluded its three-day meeting in Geneva. The Board’s discussions focused on strengthening the AIDS response in the post-2015 development agenda and advancing the development of the updated and extended UNAIDS Strategy 2016–2021.

The Board stressed the value of lessons learned from the global AIDS response, including those learned from the approach of UNAIDS as the only joint cosponsored programme of the Unites Nations system, for the transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the post-2015 development agenda and the sustainable development goals. The Board also welcomed the advances made towards updating and extending the current UNAIDS Strategy to accelerate investment and results in the next five years with a view to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

During the meeting, held from 30 June to 2 July, Board members recognized the need for stronger action to address transmission of HIV among people who inject drugs. In preparation for the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem, the Board adopted bold decisions and called on states to develop and implement comprehensive drug policies that respect human rights, promote public health outcomes and are informed by harm reduction programmes related to HIV and people who inject drugs.

In his opening address, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé, emphasized the opportunities ahead to build on progress made in the AIDS response and by implementing the ambitious Fast-Track approach. If the Fast-Track Targets are achieved by 2020, ending the AIDS epidemic will be possible by 2030.

“The Fast-Track approach will be a key instrument in breaking the backbone of AIDS and ending the epidemic as a public health threat,” Mr Sidibé said. “It is time to redouble our efforts.”

Member States, international organizations, civil society and nongovernmental organizations attended the meeting, which was chaired by Zimbabwe.

The meeting concluded with a thematic day on HIV in emergency contexts. The aim of the thematic session was to illustrate the importance that populations affected by humanitarian emergencies be given much higher priority within AIDS strategies, plans and activities. New data presented at the thematic session estimated that of the 314 million people affected by humanitarian emergencies in 2013, 1.6 million people—or 1 in 22—are living with HIV.