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2011 High Level Meeting on AIDS

UN General Assembly Reaffirms its Commitment to the Global HIV and AIDS Response

2011 High Level Meeting on AIDS

UN Member States have adopted a declaration of commitment to reach bold new targets in HIV prevention and to close the global resource gap in the AIDS response at the General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS, held on 8-10 June 2011 in New York. The Political Declaration reaffirms commitments made in 2001 and 2006 and sets clear, measurable targets, including reducing sexual transmission of HIV and transmission from injecting drug use by 50%, eliminating mother-to-child transmission, increasing universal access to treatment and halving tuberculosis deaths in people living with HIV, all by 2015.

“The world has rightfully affirmed that preventing HIV must be the cornerstone of the AIDS response,” said Paul De Lay, Deputy Executive Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

As a cosponsoring organization of UNAIDS, UNESCO supports the global response to HIV and AIDS by focusing on young people, sexuality education and the role of the education sector in countries’ response to HIV and AIDS. The 2011 declaration expresses countries’ grave concern over the infection rate among young people, noting that people aged 15-24 account for more than one-third of all new HIV infections. UN Member States have called for increased access to good quality education and sexual and reproductive health programmes for young people that provide the information, skills, services and commodities they need to protect themselves, including age-appropriate sex and HIV prevention education. Young people living with HIV are a particularly neglected population and the declaration calls for equal education access, safe and non-discriminatory learning environments, and age-appropriate HIV information to support their transition through adolescence.

Ensuring both girls’ and boys’ access to primary and secondary education is a key priority and, according to the declaration, should go hand-in-hand with: including HIV and AIDS in curricula for adolescents; ensuring safe and secure environments, especially for girls and young women; expanding good-quality youth-friendly information and sexual health education; and involving families and young people in planning, implementing and evaluating HIV and AIDS prevention and care programmes.

“This global political declaration comes at a critical time,” said Mark Richmond, UNESCO’s Global Coordinator for HIV and AIDS. “Thirty years into the epidemic it is time for a prevention revolution that encompasses universal access to information, sexuality education in schools, supporting young people and vulnerable populations, ensuring equality for young women and girls, and promoting human rights.”

Official Website of the HLM
Political Declaration, full text
UNESCO’s Response to HIV and AIDS
Director-General Bokova attending the HLM

  • 01-07-2011
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