UNAIDS chief: "The end of AIDS is within our power"

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Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS (Photo: UNAIDS).

For the first time, there is an end in sight to the AIDS epidemic that has brought such "staggering devastation" to the world.

That's what UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé said in his message for World AIDS Day, observed every year on 1 December.

He noted that the combination of powerful factors such as scientific breakthroughs, visionary leadership and precision programming has allowed people living with HIV to lead longer, healthier lives.

"Soon we'll be able to announce and AIDS-free generation. The end of an epidemic will mean so much to so many. It will mean zero people dying of AIDS and all people living with dignity and hope. Ending AIDS will mean celebrating birthdays, instead of attending funerals. But make no mistake, stigma, denial and complacency could still block our path."

For the first time, Mr. Sidibé added, people are beginning to control the epidemic and not the other way around.

A commission to determine what the end of AIDS would look like has been set up by UNAIDS and The Lancet, the world's leading independent medical journal.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’27″

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