Covid-19 and HIV/AIDS not only have an impact on people’s health, but a negative impact on homes, communities and on all nations´ development and economic growth, he explained.
Two decades since the landmark General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS, the first ever on a health issue, HIV/AIDS has become a preventable and treatable disease.
The Assembly President attested to the importance of learning from mistakes made then, such as hiding diagnoses due to social stigma, misinformation on prevention or treatment, and policymakers who delayed action.
“This meeting is an opportunity to discuss how the experience of fighting against HIV/AIDS can inform and guide effective, human rights sensitive, and people-centered responses to infectious diseases, such as COVID-19.
While human ingenuity has delivered effective vaccines for COVID-19 in record time, the Assembly President highlighted that as more variants arise, the world must move quickly to “close the gap in access and ensure vaccine equity”.
“I am convening a High-level Meeting on Universal access to vaccines on January 13, 2022, as an opportunity to commit to tackle inequalities and ensure equal and fair access to treatment for all, without discrimination,” he said.