Press release

Eminent world personalities call for an HIV Prevention Revolution

Members of the UNAIDS High Level Commission on HIV Prevention unite on World AIDS Day to mobilize leaders for reducing new HIV infections

GENEVA, 1 December 2010—On the occasion of World AIDS Day 2010, the UNAIDS High Level Commission on HIV Prevention has released a Declaration calling on world leaders to accelerate the decline in new HIV infections and spark a prevention revolution.

The Declaration was released by the co-chairs of the HIV prevention Commission, Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, on behalf of the 19 members of the Commission.  

“It is more important than ever before to work on HIV prevention because scientists have developed an array of effective tools which if implemented could reverse the AIDS epidemic,” said Professor Barré-Sinoussi. “It is unacceptable that many countries have not made these life-saving HIV prevention tools widely available.”

A new UNAIDS report has shown that 56 countries have either stabilized or achieved significant declines in rates of new HIV infections. However, the High Level Commission finds that ebbing financial investments, lack of political commitment and ineffective prevention priorities are challenging this progress.

“HIV prevention activism is indispensible to overcome the epidemic,” said Archbishop Tutu. “Communities must receive the support and encouragement they need to mobilize against the epidemic with courage and fearless commitment.”

The UNAIDS High Level Commission on HIV Prevention was established in July 2010 and is composed of political, business, civil society and philanthropic leaders. The members have been tasked with building conviction among their peers that success in HIV prevention is possible with their support. The launch of the Declaration begins their campaign of global engagement.

The Declaration calls for a prevention revolution and features four key elements: rapid scale-up of successful prevention tactics; routinely measuring new HIV infections; assessing the commitment of political, business and non-governmental leaders to HIV prevention based on data; and protecting human rights to overcome inequities and reduce the threat posed by HIV to specific populations.

“I welcome this declaration made by the High Level Commissioners on HIV prevention,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé. “With their support we can move towards a world with zero new HIV infections.”

Members of the commission will participate in a series of World AIDS Day activities on 1 December to reinforce the HIV prevention message. Three members will join the UNAIDS Executive Director in Brazil to take part in World AIDS Day activities in Brasilia alongside Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

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