Africa can attain zero new HIV infections by 2030: Zambian minister
A senior Zambian official said on Friday that it was possible for Africa to achieve zero new HIV infections by 2030 as well as zero AIDS death.
Minister of Health Joseph Kasonde said the rate of new infections has declined or stabilized in many African nations while AIDS-related deaths were declining due to an expansion of treatment programs.
Speaking in his capacity as Chair of the African Group at the United Nations (UN) during a high-level meeting of the General Assembly on ending HIV and AIDS in New York, the Zambian minister said the 54-member African Group believes that the goals could be attained because of political will shown by governments.
"Despite this progress, there is still much more left to be done. About 2.1 million were newly infected with HIV in 2015, two thirds of whom were in Africa which remains the epicenter of HIV. We note with alarm the sustained vulnerability of young people, especially young women and adolescent girls to HIV infections in Africa," he said, according to a statement released by Zambia's Permanent Mission to the UN.
The minister said the African Group applauded the achievement of reaching 15 million people living with HIV with antiretroviral therapy before the December 2015 deadline.
He, however, said the African Group recognizes that poverty and unemployment exacerbated HIV and AIDS, and the continent was calling for increased resources devoted to HIV and AIDS response.
He said exceptional action was required at all levels to curb the devastating effects of HIV and AIDS.
The meeting, convened by the President of the General Assembly Mogens Lykketoft, adopted the political declaration on the fast track to accelerate the fight against HIV and to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
- Editor:Albert | Source: Xinhuanet
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