UNDP Administrator Message For World AIDS Day

Dec 1, 2010

'Universal access and human right' is the theme of year World AIDS day, reminding us of the critical importance ofboth in effective responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Timely access to HIV-related treatement demonstrably extends lives.In Southren Africa,for example, anti-retroval treatment expanded more than tenfold between 2002 and 2009,from 300,000 people to 3.7 million.According to the 2010 Human Development Report,the availability of this treatment played a crucial role in forestalling the even more dramatic drops in life expectancy in that region which would otherwise have occured.In total, five million people around the world are on life-saving anti-retroviral tretment today.Yet ten million more who are eligible for treatment still lack access.

Ensuring a breakthrough on universal access will require work on multiple fronts, not least in the areaof human rights.That will require some of the most complex legal and human right challenges confornting the HIV response today to be addressed, including the inappropriate criminalization of marginalized populations, violence and discrimination aganist women and children, and the barriers which stand in the way of accessing treatment.The Global Commission on HIV and Law,set up by UNDP this year,aims to address these tough issues.

UNDP has been working in innovation ways to support people to advocate for and access the services they need,for example, with HIV-positive women's group in six regions.Then, in Belarus, through our patnership with the Global Fund to Fight Against AIDS, TB, and Malaria,UNDP has worked with nearly 100 organization on an HIV programme focusing on sex workers, men who have sex with men, injection drugs users, and prisoners.This led to the creation of a nationwide network of HIV education centers for young people.Support for those working at the grossroot level is crucial.On 1 December,UNDP will honour the winners of the Red Ribbon Award-they are 25 community-based organization working on the frontline in support of communities affected by HIV. As we mark another World AIDS Day,let us also reaffirm our commitment to services which are universally accessible and based on a human right apporach.

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