Even as the world marked AIDS day on Sunday, UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima amplified the voice on the scourge saying, communities are the best hope for ending AIDS because communities have fought against HIV right from the beginning.
She added “As the epidemic raged through our countries, cities, villages, women held communities together and bore the higher burden of care for their families,for far too long we have taken their volunteerism for granted.”
Byanyima said without communities, 24 million people would not be on treatment today. That without communities led by women living with and affected by HIV, the globe would not be close to ending new HIV infections among children, raising orphans and caring for the sick.
Today, UNAIDS Executive Director @Winnie_Byanyima spoke at the #WorldAIDSDay celebrations in South Africa with Deputy President @DDMabuza and the Minister of Health @DrZweliMkhize. Here are the main points from her speech. pic.twitter.com/8n0OsfiJlG
— UNAIDS (@UNAIDS) December 1, 2019
She reminded the world that twenty-five years ago, a Burundi woman called Jeanne was the first person to disclose that she was living with HIV. Today, Jeanne is holding leaders accountable and fighting for the right to health care.
“On World AIDS Day, UNAIDS salutes the achievements of activists and communities in the struggle against HIV. We remember and we honour all those whom we have lost along the way. Activists challenged the silence and brought life-saving services to their communities. But the countless contributions by women and many others can never replace the responsibility of governments,” She noted.