President of Fiji encourages accelerated leadership on HIV in Asia and the Pacific

20 November 2013

Speaking at a forum on AIDS leadership held in Bangkok on 18 November, the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau of Fiji, emphasized the importance of continued leadership to accelerate progress in Asia and the Pacific. He highlighted work towards the ‘Getting to zero’ vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. President Nailatikau stressed that while progress has been made, there is a need to continuously review and renew efforts and commitments to ensure sustained progress.

The leadership forum took place on the eve of the 11th International Conference on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (18-22 November). The regional conference and was attended by more than 100 representatives from governments, international organizations and civil society groups.

UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Management and Governance, Jan Beagle highlighted the need for greater focus in the region’s response to HIV. She noted that by ensuring key populations (such as men who have sex with men, sex workers and people who inject drugs) have access to HIV services—will have a major impact in terms of HIV infections prevented and lives saved. 


"We need to continuously review and renew our efforts and our commitments as leaders and partners on our response to HIV—especially to our commitments in achieving and sustaining access to antiretroviral treatment—the gains in our response to HIV are still fragile."

Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, President of Fiji

"Political commitment from the top and community engagement is what makes the difference in the response to HIV."

Jan Beagle, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Management and Governance