Liberia: UNAIDS Calls for Partnerships

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) is calling for partnerships and a united approach to end the twin epidemics of Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV to save millions of lives. UNAIDS said it has never been more urgent for governments, medical and scientific communities, the private sector and people affected by the diseases to come together to ensure access to existing treatment.

In a statement to commemorate World TB Day, UNAIDS wants private sector and those affected by two health conditions to come together to ensure access to existing treatment regimens and to push for new diagnostic tools and treatments to reach all people in need. The statement quotes UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibe as saying the world achieve the most when countries work together and use all their strengths to reach ambitious goals.

"Harnessing the potential of everyone involved in the response to HIV and TB is needed now more than ever to end these epidemics and create a healthier world as part of the Sustainable Development Goals." Sidibe said. Globally, 9.6 million people fell ill with TB in 2014 and 1.5 million people died of the disease.

UNAIDS said TB also remains the leading cause of death among people living with HIV, accounting for one in three AIDS-related deaths every year - around 390 000 of 1.2 million AIDS-related deaths in 2014. The international community is committed to ending the epidemics of TB and HIV within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals, but it requires togetherness and partnerships.

Mr. Sidibe said this will be possible only by strengthening and accelerating current responses and by maximizing the contribution of all those involved through a united approach at the international, regional, national and community levels. The UNAIDS boss noted that these new regimens and tools must be within reach of everyone affected by TB and HIV.

According to him, the strengthening of health-care capacities will also be an important factor in reaching the goals of reducing TB deaths by 95% and new cases of TB by 90% by 2035. The same factors apply to ending the HIV epidemic.

Source: All Africa