UNAIDS – A Year in Review 2011
23 December 2011
The AIDS response saw remarkable progress in 2011. Until recently, the end of the HIV epidemic seemed a distant dream, but science, political leadership and community responses have helped to deliver clear and tangible results—2011 will be remembered as a game-changing year.
“A year ago, skeptics said that getting to zero—zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths—was just a slogan. But countries, partners and people around the world have embraced the UNAIDS vision and are now working to translate it into reality,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé at the Joint Programme’s Board meeting on 13 December.
In June 2011, and amidst one of the most severe financial crisises in recent history, countries came together to adopt a new and historic Declaration on AIDS at the 2011 UN High-Level Meeting on AIDS. The 2011 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS: Intensifying Our Efforts to Eliminate HIV/AIDS set forth bold new targets to advance the AIDS response even further. As never before, the concept of shared values and shared responsibility became a reality. Countries committed to meeting critical investment needs by identifying new funding opportunities, as well as contributing according to their differentiated responsibilities and respective capacities.
A year ago, skeptics said that getting to zero—zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths—was just a slogan. But countries, partners and people around the world have embraced the UNAIDS vision and are now working to translate it into reality
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé
The 2011 High-Level Meeting on AIDS also witnessed the launch of the Global Plan to eliminate new HIV infections among children and keeping their mothers alive by 2015, where world leaders stood together to say that an AIDS-free generation is possible and that no child should be born with HIV.
International funding for HIV has declined and is jeopardizing the gains made in the AIDS response. “We must continue to scale up our investments in those areas where we are producing results,” said Mr Sidibé at the opening of the 16th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA), held in Ethiopia from 4-8 December 2011. “I am very sensitive to the financial constraints the world is facing. But if we do not pay now, we will pay forever,” he added.
Even in a difficult year, the world produced results. The 2011 World AIDS Day Report, released in November, showed that new infections have fallen 21% since 1997 and AIDS-related deaths have decreased by 21% since 1995. At the same time, the report outlined a road map for a long-term strategic response with matching investment to help countries deliver greater value for money.
Click here to see some of the many highlights of 2011.