AU Seeks Commitment to Ends AIDS as a Threat by 2030
Africa Social

AU Seeks Commitment to Ends AIDS as a Threat by 2030

The AU Commission organized a high-level commemoration event in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to re-ignite the political commitment to end AIDS as a public health threat in Africa by 2030.‎

The event was organised in ‎collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia, Africa Centres for Disease Control and ‎Prevention (CDC)‎, the Organization of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD)‎, and ‎UNAIDS, including the “Equalize” March within the AU headquarters.

‎Senior officials representing the Permanent Missions to the AU, AU ‎Specialized Institutions and UN Agencies stationed in Addis Ababa participated in the high-level opening session and “Equalize” March.

The AU Commission notes with concern that today, HIV prevalence is not because of a lack of knowledge or tools but because of structural inequalities that obstruct proven solutions to HIV prevention and treatment.

‎“Equalize” is a call to action: a prompt to address the inequalities that impede the fight against ‎HIV/AIDS.

H.E. Amb. Minata Samate Cessouma, Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, ‎AU Commission said: “It has clearly been expressed that our focus, going forward, should be to work and ‎move together towards eliminating HIV-related inequalities and stereotypes.

I applaud ‎all AU Member States’ actively reforming policies and conducting advocacy to ensure ‎positive health outcomes and create secure environments that support the well-being of ‎their citizens.‎

The commissioner added: “ I pay tribute to the families and friends we have lost to AIDS and honour all the activists ‎at the forefront of the HIV response.

They encourage us all to play our role in ensuring ‎that the communities’ voices are heard and represented at the decision-making tables”.

The Commissioner further said “‎As the leaders of Africa, we will continue to work towards more sustainable and ‎resilient health systems that protect the future and wellness of our communities.‎ The fight against AIDS continues.

This World AIDS Day, the AU Commission calls for ‎reinvigorated community engagement, renewed political will and global solidarity to end ‎AIDS as a public health threat by 2030”.

Hon. Dr Lia Tadesse, Minister of Health, Ethiopia, said: “ As this year’s World AIDS Day theme calls, it is a prompt for all of us to work for the proven ‎practical actions needed to address inequalities and help end AIDS: Increase availability, quality and suitability of services, for HIV treatment, testing and ‎prevention, so that everyone is well served; Address stigma among people living with HIV and key and priority populations; Optimize HIV prevention and treatment accesses to children, adolescents and young ‎women; Engage the communities meaningfully; and Solve other persisting inequalities for basic services such as HIV case finding, treatment ‎and prevention interventions”.

She also underscored the eight years left before the 2030 goal of ‎ending AIDS as a global health threat. “Economic, social, cultural and legal inequalities must be addressed as a matter of urgency; the gains made so far can easily be reversed unless we step up our efforts to end the persistent inequalities and inequities, ‎‎”concluded Hon. Dr Lia Tadesse.

AIDS Watch Africa (AWA), whose Secretariat is housed at the AU Commission‎, ‎‎continues to play an influential advocacy role in actively shaping discourse on HIV, ‎tuberculosis (TB), ‎malaria and health financing and will thus lead the 2022 World AIDS Day ‎initiative.