On 1 December, people worldwide unite to renew their commitment to getting to zero on World AIDS Day: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related Deaths.
The Millennium Development Goal for HIV/AIDS is clear: to halt and begin to reverse the epidemic by 2015. “We have moved from despair to hope. Far fewer people are dying from AIDS” said Michel Sidibé, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. Thanks to the determined efforts of governments and civil society, success is in sight.
In the below interview, Mr Mikkelsen discusses the successes and challenges of the goal in a European context. The European Union and its member states have played a critical role in terms of financing and policies on human rights and gender equality. However, the future strategy remains unclear. The EU Programme for Action to confront HIV/AIDS ended in 2011 and a new vision has yet to be formulated.
Henning Mikkelsen: “In the past decade, the EU and its member states have played a critical role in the successes we are celebrating today in Global AIDS.”
According to the World AIDS Day Report by UNAIDS, the number of people dying from AIDS-related causes in Western and Central Europe declined and the rate of new infections is relatively stable. While in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, there has been an increasing prevalence of HIV infections and AIDS deaths.