It is so critical that people are not excluded from our response because of their HIV status, their social status or their sexual orientation. If we want to be inclusive, if we want to have a society that is able to transform itself, we must be capable of having compassion and tolerance. That is what the President has shown, and that is why I am here.
UNAIDS’ vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths is not about “absolute zero.” It is a journey that leads us to social justice and to greater distribution of opportunity for people who are not lucky.
Almost 30 years after the first cases of AIDS, the law is still being used to criminalize the transmission of HIV. The full impact of these laws is not well documented or understood, but we understand too well how they further marginalize people living with HIV: They fuel stigma. They damage efforts to prevent, treat and care for HIV. They remove incentives for people to get tested. And they undermine public trust in health care providers.
National leaders have made progress on AIDS a defining legacy of their commitment to their own people. But Africa is too dependent on external resources, especially for the AIDS response. It is time for African leaders to come together to define a transformed development paradigm that will deliver a new, socially sustainable agenda that is written and owned by Africa.
Let us all be proud. A year ago, skeptics said that getting to zero was just a slogan. But countries, partners and people around the world have embraced the vision and are now working to translate it into reality. Our vision of zero has truly come to life and grown legs.
The AIDS movement in Africa is a powerful story of people breaking the conspiracy of silence surrounding this epidemic and demanding equity and dignity. We have seen unprecedented progress that must be sustained and enhanced. But we are at a "make or break" point. If we accept the status quo, we will forsake the 9 million people in low- and middle-income countries still waiting for HIV treatment. Our collective failure to meet this challenge will mean more deaths, more orphans and more new infections.
Never before in the history of AIDS have we reached a moment where we are able to stand up and say with conviction the end of AIDS is in sight. It has been a year of achievements, of collective action, of resilience and of courage. In spite of the economic downturn that has stretched the AIDS response to its limits, millions of lives have been saved, as HIV treatment and prevention efforts continue to show results.
Today, 10 years after DOHA, it is time to take stock of what TRIPS has brought to the global public health debate, and how it has helped us to transform, or not. This is also a key opportunity to think about what should come next. AIDS is a good entry point for this discussion. It shows us the possibilities of TRIPS, but also the limitations.
We have to remember, we have been talking about HIV prevention in Germany for a very long time. You have been at the forefront, and have helped to change completely the nature of the response. I want to thank you for helping us to shape our strategies against this epidemic. So it is fitting that we are in Germany today to launch this 2011 UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report—30 years after the first days of AIDS.
This region is experiencing a level of economic growth that no one could have predicted even 12 to 15 years ago. This change is calling for a new kind of global governance, which must be undertaken with a spirit that will help us to share responsibility; to build on our shared values. This means protecting people—making sure that the rights of those who need services will not be marginalized or neglected.
The partnerships being built between Africa and the Diaspora can make a big difference in two key dimensions: forging closer ties between America and Africa, and promoting sustainable human development. The AIDS movement is looking to American leaders forging partnerships with Africa to help us build momentum. As university presidents, elected officials and leaders in the arts, culture and civil society, we need you to play key roles in helping us reach the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, and ultimately, UNAIDS’ vision of the "three zeroes."
The lessons we have learned from 30 years of responding to AIDS can be readily applied to pushing the NCD agenda forward. If the women leaders assembled here today can mobilize the same energy, commitment and perseverance that you have demonstrated in the AIDS response, then we will deliver life-changing results for women, girls and the future of NCDs.
It is time for the AIDS response to bridge the gap with the movement for the fight against women's cancer. The alliance between HIV and women’s heath has unlimited potential and will resonate across the world. This Pink Ribbon-Red Ribbon coalition will prevent much suffering and many deaths.
Let us remember, eight years ago, strategists were predicting a devastating “second wave” of the HIV pandemic would sweep across Asia. By 2010, they said, India would have the highest number of infections in the world. Fifteen million would be infected in China. HIV would spread rapidly through the general population and millions would die. But there was no wave.