UNAIDS chief calls for new momentum in fight against HIV

UNAIDS


Geneva, June 3 : The fight against the coronavirus pandemic must also spur global efforts to defeat HIV infection and AIDS, the head of the UN Programme to Fight AIDS, Winnie Byanyima, has said. "The Covid pandemic has made political leaders aware of how vulnerable we all are, how it shuts down economies, we must renew the momentum to fight AIDS," Byanyima told dpa news agency. Byanyima is executive director of UNAIDS which plans to present a report on Thursday showing that more efforts are needed to also achieve its stated goal of defeating the HIV pandemic by 2030. "We have proven that science can bring solutions in short time, we proved that governments can bring together resources," Bynayima said. She is therefore cautiously optimistic that the same can be done to end the HIV pandemic. It has been 40 years since the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) first reported on the then mysterious immunodeficiency disease on June 5, 1981. Next week, the UN plans to launch a new appeal for donations at an AIDS summit in New York. In the past 40 years, nearly 35 million people have died from complications of AIDS. "Those lives matter, like the ones taken by Covid," Bynayima said. /IANS




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