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World AIDS Day 2012

Getting to Zero in Nepal

On behalf of Michel Sidibé, the UNAIDS Executive Director and Under-Secretary General of the United Nations; Ban Ki Moon, the United Nations Secretary General himself, and the entire UN System in Nepal: Welcome to everyone who comes together with compassion and determination on this World AIDS Day 2012, as we say: Your blood, sweat and tears are changing the country, the region and the world.

The Millennium Development Goal for HIV is clear: To halt and begin to reverse the epidemic, by 2015. Thanks to the

determined efforts of governments and the peoples of the land, success is in sight. together. And we must!

We know that we can end AIDS

We have moved from despair to hope. Far fewer people are dying from AIDS. 25 countries, around the world have reduced their new infections by more than 50%, including Nepal. These are results we want to see in every country. Though the numbers in Nepal have been decreasing over the last years, HIV prevalence for sex workers; gay men and other men who have sex with men; transgender people; people who use drugs, and mobile and migrant men and their partners, remain unacceptable high. We commend the government for offering free anti -retrovirals to everyone who needs these lifesaving medications. Yet, Nepal will not meet its 2015 treatment target, if we do not triple our efforts, by offering testing and treating to our key affected populations. And this is where the role of civil society and communities becomes ever so important. Not only must government increase collaboration with civil society, it is time now that civil society takes the initiative to engage government, by offering its support to test and treat, and lead a revived civil society activism to end AIDS

We can and must collectively turn the tide and stop HIV from getting out of hand. The United Nations System is committed, together with the people of Nepal, from West to East, from the Terai in the South, to the Central Hills, and to the Mountains in the North, to work towards a Nepal, where:

No child is born with HIV, and HIV positive mothers stay alive and thrive;

There is national solidarity and shared responsibility to end AIDS;

Key populations at higher risk for HIV are tested and treated, to prevent new infections and to prevent AIDS-related deaths;

Civil Society and communities are competent to initiate, lead, and be held accountable for the elimination of new HIV infections and getting and sustaining community members on anti-retroviral treatment; with a special focus on key affected populations;

Government and donor investments are made wisely, based on evidence-informed investment cases;

Through the best HIV intelligence: We are getting the right numbers, and are getting the numbers right.

We only have a thousand days left before the deadline of reaching the 2015 global AIDS targets. So today, on World AIDS Day 2012, let us renew our commitment and intensify our actions to get to zero -together.

Contact: Dr Ruben F. del Prado | UNAIDS Country Office for Nepal and Bhutan | nepal@unaids.org

Zero new HIV infections Zero discrimination Zero AIDS-related deaths

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