President dos Santos promises to redouble efforts on Angola’s HIV response
07 October 2013
The President of Angola José Eduardo dos Santos said his country is committed to stopping new HIV infections among children and improving access to HIV treatment. He made the commitment during a meeting with UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé on 7 October in Angola’s capital of Luanda.
Since the 27-year civil war ended in 2002, Angola has moved swiftly to become one of the fastest growing economies in the world and the government is gradually rebuilding its public infrastructure
Mr Sidibé congratulated the President on his leadership and engagement in the peaceful and economic transformation of Angola and called on him to take on the twin challenges of ensuring all babies are born free of HIV and ensuring all Angolans living with HIV have access to lifesaving antiretroviral treatment.
Angola is one of the few countries in Africa where new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths have risen in the last ten years. New HIV infections increased from 19 000 in 2011 to 28 000 in 2012 – a 47% increase. AIDS-related deaths rose from 8 400 in 2001 to 13 000 in 2012. Antiretroviral treatment coverage for adults and children is also very low in Angola. Only 15% of eligible children and 48% of adults had access to treatment in 2012 under 2010 guidelines from the World Health Organization.
I am a pragmatic leader and what I need is a business plan with two clear actions for 2015: to make sure that no baby is born with HIV and every Angolan living with HIV has access to treatment. Angola still has a long road ahead to overcome the HIV epidemic but we will do it together.
Angola has come a long way to become one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Under the strong leadership of President dos Santos this country can build on this gain to halt and reverse its HIV epidemic.