Prime Minister of Bangladesh highlights country’s HIV success story during World Health Assembly

Bookmark and Share

Feature story

Prime Minister of Bangladesh highlights country’s HIV success story during World Health Assembly

18 May 2011

Credit: UNAIDS

In her keynote address to the 2011 World Health Assembly, taking place in Geneva from 16-24 May, Prime Minister of Bangladesh Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina highlighted the progress made by her country in the response to HIV. “In Bangladesh, we have been able to keep HIV prevalence rates to less than 0.01% due to our effective national programme aided by our strong inherent social values. The decline has been due to rapid expansion of HIV services and dedicated AIDS financing.”

Ms Hasina also noted that although progress has been made in the global response to HIV, due attention and continued support from international community should continue.

The Prime Minister of Bangladesh discussed the serious impact that HIV has on migrant workers during a bilateral meeting with UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé. More than five million Bangladesh citizens work abroad, mostly in the Middle East region, where many face lack of HIV services due to their migrant status which can make people even more vulnerable to HIV infection.  

In Bangladesh, we have been able to keep HIV prevalence rates to less than 0.01% due to our effective national programme aided by our strong inherent social values

Prime Minister of Bangladesh Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina

During the meeting, Mr Sidibé recognized the special contribution of the Government of Bangladesh to United Nations Peacekeeping Operations. Bangladesh is ranked first in terms of its contribution, with more than 10 000 military and law enforcement personnel attached to various UN peacekeeping forces worldwide. UNAIDS is working closely with the members of the UN Security Council to review programmes that addresses HIV among international peacekeepers and uniformed services.

The UNAIDS Executive Director also took the opportunity to commend the Government of Bangladesh for hosting the opening of the 2011 Cricket World Cup, which featured messages on HIV-related stigma and discrimination. According to Mr Sidibé, “the Government of Bangladesh and the International Cricket Council demonstrated that cricket is a powerful force for promoting respect and dignity of people living with HIV.”