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Commentary & Opinion
UNAIDS Director: "Learning From the Success of African Leadership in AIDS Response"

June 5, 2013

"The AIDS epidemic threatened to overcome Africa -- but instead, Africa and the world have united to overcome AIDS, going farther than most ever thought possible," UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé writes in the Huffington Post's "The Big Push" blog. "Today fewer people are becoming newly infected with HIV, millions are receiving HIV treatment, fewer babies are becoming infected with HIV, and Africa is investing more than ever in the AIDS response -- and in the continent's future," he states and provides statistics. "From civil society and faith-based organizations, to the private sector and government, the visionary leadership of many Africans has played a major role in this success," he continues.

"From the 2001 Abuja Declaration and the 2005 Gaborone Declaration through to the 2012 African Union Roadmap on Shared Responsibility and Global Solidarity for AIDS, TB and Malaria Response in Africa, the African Union has long taken a strong stand in solidarity with the tens of millions of people in Africa affected by HIV," Sidibé continues, adding, "African governments are also steadily decreasing their reliance on donor funding for these efforts." He writes, "As we look to our future goals, African leadership can be the pathfinder to better global health," adding, "In particular, there are five things that we have learned from the AIDS response" -- "Put people at the center," "[m]obilize culture and communities," "[s]implify the architecture and strengthen accountability," "[s]hare responsibility and stand in solidarity," and "[e]levate health as a force for social transformation" (6/4).

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