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Ending AIDS is not an unreachable goal

By Catherine Sozi and Bernard Schwartlander | China Daily | Updated: 2015-12-01 08:19

In the not-so-distant future, it is plausible that AIDS could be something we read about in history books rather than newspaper headlines. Last September, China, along with other member states gathered at the United Nations, adopted the Sustainable Development Goals and committed to ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. On this World AIDS Day, the UN is calling on the international community to start delivering on this promise.

We know that China can achieve incredible things when it sets its mind to a challenge - demonstrated by the fact that an astonishing 660 million people were lifted out of poverty in the last generation. The same spirit of determination, pragmatism and optimism which led to that extraordinary achievement now needs to be embraced to end the AIDS epidemic. While its overall infection rates remain low, China remains in the top fifteen countries worldwide for the total number of people living with HIV, and for new infections. The virus keeps spreading-and it is time to stop it in its tracks.

We know what needs to be done: social attitudes and support for the communities most affected by HIV need to change, so that these communities are better equipped to protect themselves from HIV, and have better access to testing and early treatment if they are living with HIV. In the case of China, this means doing more to support men who have sex with men (MSM).

Ending AIDS is not an unreachable goal

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