While global optimism has fuelled a major push to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 – the highest ambition within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – the United Nations today warned that the pandemic is far from over, and with more than 36 million people living with HIV, tackling it will require a life-cycle approach based on community-level solutions.

“Achieving our aims on AIDS is interlinked and embedded within the broader 2030 Agenda. Both are grounded in equity, human rights and a promise to leave no one behind,” Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed told delegations gathered for the General Assembly’s annual review of the Secretary-General’s report, this year calling for a reinvigorated global response to HIV/AIDS.

In 2016, The UN political declaration on ending AIDS set the world on a fast-track to stamp out the epidemic by 2030. In the first phase, countries agreed to reduce new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths to fewer than 500,000 by 2020.They also agreed to eliminate HIV-related stigma and discrimination by then.

However, according to the report, with less than four years to go, progress on reducing new HIV infections among adults has stalled, financing for the global response has dried up and more importantly, women and girls continue to bear the brunt of the AIDS epidemic.

“We must build on the tremendous advances we have already seen in science, technology and innovation to better support people living with HIV, and to find a path towards a vaccine or cure,” he said, adding that it is important to leverage the integrated nature of the SDGs by building on the synergies between the global AIDS response and efforts to achieve universal health coverage.

Adequate funding remains critical to meet the objectives, he added, emphasizing the need to close the $7 billion funding gap for the global AIDS response.

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