Pakistan reaffirms commitment to end HIV/AIDS by 2030

ISLAMABAD – Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan said that with the sustained support of United Nations and other partner organisations, Pakistan is regularly taking serious efforts to bring the ratio of new HIV/AIDS to zero level by 2030 to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on health.

This commitment was demonstrated at a national event organised by the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination; Common Management Unit (CMU) for AIDS, TB, and Malaria in Islamabad on Thursday to commemorate the World AIDS Day 2021, said a press release.

Dr Faisal appreciated the regular support of especially UN agencies towards ensuring elimination of this pandemic in the country.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony Ms Yuki Takemoto, UNAIDS Country Director for Pakistan and Afghanistan, said that HIV/AIDS still threatens the world including Pakistan.

She said that today, the country is off track from delivering on the shared commitment to end AIDS by 2030 not because of a lack of knowledge or tools to beat AIDS, but because of structural inequalities that obstruct proven solutions to HIV prevention and treatment.

Dr Faisal lauds regular support of UN agencies towards ensuring elimination of pandemic in country

Sharing his opinion, UN Resident Coordinator, Pakistan, Julien Harneis, said that for the course corrections, we need to end AIDS as it will also protect Pakistan against future pandemics. 

“We need a paradigm shift in health financing and invest in community-led, human rights-based, gender transformative responses, essential workers, equitable access to life-saving medicines, data systems that can detect inequalities, and rights-based approaches that address those inequalities,” he explained.

The World AIDS Day is marked across the world every year on December 2. The theme of this year’s World AIDS Day is ‘End inequalities, End AIDS, End Pandemics.’ In Pakistan, this Day is commemorated in collaboration with United Nations agencies, governments and civil society to campaign around specific themes related to AIDS.

The theme reminds entire country’s collective efforts needed by national and provincial partners, support from international partners (UN, GFATM and other development partners), and the critical role of people living with HIV and other community-based organisations in the overall national HIV response.

Influential diplomats, representatives of United Nations Country Team (UNCT); UNAIDS and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM); Health, Population, Nutrition and Health Development Partners, Association of People Living with AIDS (APLHIV) and other community-based organisations working on HIV attended the event.

Speaking on the occasion, Asghar Satti, National Coordinator of Association of People Living with HIV and AIDS, stressed for HIV testing for ensuring that all people living with HIV can lead a healthy and productive life.

“Both AIDS and COVID-19 can be ended, and future pandemics can be prevented with strong political leadership, action and accountability,” he remarked.

The ceremony was followed by the handicraft stalls displayed by marginalised section of the society and work by the Joint UN Team on AIDS in support of the HIV response in Pakistan and Women’s Economic Empowerment in which handicrafts by women living with HIV were displayed.

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