Health International

World Aids Day: Address Inequality in Ending AIDS – UNAIDS

Each year, on 1 December, the world commemorates World AIDS Day. People around the world unite to show support for people living with HIV and to remember those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses.

Each World AIDS Day focuses on a specific theme, which this year will be ‘Equalize’.

UNAIDS is urging each of us to address the inequalities which are holding back progress in ending AIDS.

This year’s theme joins a growing list of challenges that World AIDS Day has alerted people to globally.

Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever international day for global health. Every year, United Nations agencies, governments and civil society join together to campaign around specific themes related to HIV.

World AIDS Day remains as relevant today as it’s always been, reminding people and governments that HIV has not gone away.

There is still a critical need for increased funding for the AIDS response, to increase awareness of the impact of HIV on people’s lives, to end stigma and discrimination and to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV.

The inequalities which perpetuate the AIDS pandemic are not inevitable; we can tackle them. This World AIDS Day, UNAIDS is urging each of us to address the inequalities which are holding back progress in ending AIDS.

The “Equalize” slogan is a call to action. It is a prompt for all of us to work for the proven practical actions needed to address inequalities and help end AIDS.

Data from UNAIDS on the global HIV response reveals that during the last two years of COVID-19 and other global crises, progress against the HIV pandemic has faltered, resources have shrunk, and millions of lives are at risk as a result.

We have only eight years left before the 2030 goal of ending AIDS as a global health threat. Economic, social, cultural and legal inequalities must be addressed as a matter of urgency. In a pandemic, inequalities exacerbate the dangers for everyone. Indeed, the end of AIDS can only be achieved if we tackle the inequalities which drive it.

World leaders need to act with bold and accountable leadership. And all of us, everywhere, must do all we can to help tackle inequalities too.

The UNAIDS World Aids Day 2022 Report reveals that inequalities are obstructing the end of AIDS.

On current trends the world will not meet agreed global targets on AIDS. Millions of lives are at stake. The new UNAIDS report shows that only urgent action to tackle inequalities can get the world’s AIDS response on track.

It shows how world leaders can tackle those inequalities, and calls on them to be courageous in doing so.

Over the years, a detailed understanding of the HIV epidemic has emerged through the collection, analysis and dissemination of data, helping programmes to reach the right people in the right place and at the right time. Having high-quality data on the AIDS response has enabled ambitious, measurable and time-bound targets to be set for tracking progress and ensuring accountability.

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