"We can end HIV/AIDS by 2030" says head of UNAIDS

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Michel Sidibé. (UNAIDS video capture)

The international community can end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 by working together, according to the Executive Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

Speaking ahead of World Aids Day, marked annually on 1 December Michel Sidibé said health systems need to be strengthened.

He added that more should be done to reach people left behind, including young women and girls, men who have sex with men, prisoners and sex workers.

Now, Mr Sidibé said, is the time to break the AIDS epidemic for good as it could "spring" back and be impossible to end.

“I want to say to the world that it's time for us to redouble our effort, to fast track our actions, to make sure that we quicken the pace. Together I am sure we can end AIDS epidemic by 2030.”

Mr Sidibé added that this day is an opportunity to reflect on the lives lost to Ebola given the outbreak's similarities to the beginning of the AIDS epidemic.

He explained that Ebola sufferers were hiding, scared, and facing widespread stigma and discrimination of the type encountered by the first people to contract AIDS.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’19″

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