China News Service, Beijing, December 1 (Bo Wenwen) Since 1988, December 1 has been World AIDS Day every year.

This day is a day when people from all over the world unite to express their support to people living with HIV and to commemorate those who have died of AIDS-related diseases.

  The theme of World AIDS Day 2020 released by the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) is "Global Solidarity, Shared Responsibility".

The official Chinese translation is "Join hands to prevent and fight AIDS, and share health responsibilities."

2020 "World AIDS Day" International Charity Poster Design Exhibition "You are not alone", designed by Zhang Yu and Cheng Nuo.

Photo courtesy of UNAIDS

  The United Nations has always been the vanguard in the fight against AIDS.

The UNAIDS, established in 1996, is committed to coordinating the efforts of all parties to fight AIDS, bringing together the efforts and resources of many organizations under the UN system, including UNICEF, UNDP, UNESCO, UNHCR, United Nations Population Fund, International Labor Organization, World Health Organization, etc.

  In his speech on World AIDS Day in 2020, UN Secretary-General Guterres pointed out that at a time when the world is focusing on the new crown epidemic crisis, World AIDS Day reminds people that they need to continue to pay attention to another global pandemic that has existed for nearly 40 years. .

"The experience of responding to HIV is very useful for fighting the new crown epidemic. We know that to eradicate AIDS and defeat the new crown pneumonia, we must eliminate stigma and discrimination, put people first, and respond in a way based on human rights and gender equality."

  On the eve of World AIDS Day this year, representatives of 11 United Nations agencies in China accepted an exclusive interview with a reporter from China News Agency. They talked about the "emotions" of the epidemic and the prevention of "AIDS". Let no one be left behind, and finally achieve the end of AIDS.

2020 "World AIDS Day" International Charity Poster Design Exhibition "Discrimination and Murder", designed by Luo Yimin.

Photo courtesy of UNAIDS

Pay attention to disadvantaged groups and "let no one be left behind"

  In 2020, the world’s attention is focused on the impact of the new crown pandemic on people’s health and on social production and life.

Although HIV and COVID-19 have different transmission routes and prevention methods, both will cause groups with lower social status and economic security to be affected first, such as the elderly, children, women, people living with HIV and other vulnerable groups.

  "We need to be consistent and provide information, services and social protection to people affected by HIV during this extremely challenging period, and truly ensure that no one is left behind." United Nations Acting Coordinator in China Sang Ailing ( Amakobe Sande said that during the lockdown period, they witnessed the Chinese government and community organizations working together to ensure that people living with HIV can get life-saving medicines and meet the needs of people living with HIV.

It also witnessed China’s determination to bring HIV prevention, treatment and nursing services back on track, and to expand social protection services.

  Matteo Marchisio, the representative of the International Fund for Agricultural Development in China, North Korea and South Korea, also pointed out that the new crown epidemic has shown us that no one is safe until everyone is safe.

"Vulnerable groups are the most vulnerable to epidemics, and we can't leave anyone behind."

  HIV is spread through three ways: sexual contact, blood, and mother-to-child.

In China, unprotected sex is the main method of HIV transmission.

The UNESCO representative in China, Marielza Oliveira, said that this means that every young person who enters into a sexual relationship is at risk of infection. It also means that sex education must be provided to young people during the compulsory education stage.

The work "Love Can Conquer Everything" for the 2020 "World AIDS Day" International Public Welfare Poster Design Exhibition, designed by Zhang Qiaohe and Liu Zichen.

Photo courtesy of UNAIDS

  In China, the number of young people aged 15 to 24 who are infected with HIV has been on the rise in recent years, and 80% of those infected are dropouts from school.

Ou Minxing called on governments, schools, civil society organizations and individuals to take action to ensure that every young person, including people living with HIV, has the right to receive basic education and services related to AIDS in and out of schools.

  "We also call on all young people to take up the responsibility of learning and equipping them with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to help your friends and others avoid HIV infection, and to be tested immediately if there is any suspicious contact." Ou Minxing said.

  The UNFPA Chargé d’affaires in China, Navchaa Suren, also noticed the increase in the number of young people infected with HIV in China, and believed that it is very important for young people to have the skills, knowledge and ability to protect themselves from HIV infection.

"They need access to services related to sexual and reproductive health, including HIV prevention, treatment and nursing services."

  According to Cynthia McCaffrey, UNICEF’s representative in China, since 2001, when it supported China’s first pilot project to prevent mother-to-child transmission of AIDS, the UNICEF China office has been working with the Chinese government on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission. Infant communication work closely cooperates.

China's project to prevent mother-to-child transmission of AIDS has achieved remarkable results. Since the start of the project, the rate of mother-to-child transmission of AIDS has dropped by more than 85%.

However, there is still a long way to go to eliminate mother-to-child transmission.

In 2018, more than 7,000 HIV-infected pregnant women were detected in China.

  Rui Xinyue said that through continuous commitment to make correct investments in quality health services, information and laboratory systems, community participation, gender equality and human rights, China will eventually achieve the global goal of eliminating mother-to-child transmission of AIDS.

2020 "World AIDS Day" International Public Welfare Poster Design Exhibition "Prevention and Anti-AIDS", designed by Zhang Yukang.

Photo courtesy of UNAIDS

"Don't be shy to talk", stop stigma and discrimination

  "Stopping prejudice and discrimination is very important." Beate Trankmann, the representative of the United Nations Development Program in China, pointed out that the harm caused by prejudice and discrimination to others is not only verbal, but also directly harms the rights of others.

"Due to discrimination, they have to give up the help and services they deserve. This will further affect their health, well-being and livelihood, and affect their loved ones, and even their communities."

  "The biggest obstacle affecting AIDS prevention and control is discrimination." said Zhou Kai, Chargé d’affaires of UNAIDS in China. Because of discrimination, people living with HIV or high-risk groups dare not talk about, go for testing, and go for treatment. Service, which increases the risk of HIV transmission.

  "Don't be shy to talk." Zhou Kai appealed, "Only when we pay more attention and talk more can we eliminate discrimination against people living with HIV and create an environment that is very conducive to AIDS prevention and control."

  Zhou Kai also pointed out that in addition to discrimination from the outside world, there is also self-discrimination from the infected.

At this time, it is necessary to give full play to the power of community organizations composed mostly of people living with HIV, gay men and men who have sex with men, drug users, sex workers, and transgender groups.

Through exchanges and training with them, the awareness of diseases is improved, self-confidence is built, and self-discrimination is eliminated.

“Due to the existence of discrimination, people at high risk of HIV infection are difficult to reach. Therefore, through the participation of community groups, we reach out to these people and convey information to them accurately and in a timely manner.”

  Zhou Kai said that China has done a particularly good job in supporting community organizations to participate in AIDS prevention, and pointed out that China’s "Social Organizations Participation in AIDS Prevention Fund" has now supported thousands of social organizations to carry out publicity, education, and education for high-risk groups. Preventive intervention, testing and consultation, and care and assistance of infected persons and patients.

  Zhou Kai believes that increasing the public’s understanding of AIDS prevention is also the key to eliminating discrimination.

"With the development of science, there are now many good means to effectively prevent the spread of HIV, such as the concept of'U=U'."

  "U=U", that is, "UndetectableequalsUntransmittable" means that when an HIV-infected person persists in receiving antiretroviral treatment, the viral load in the body is continuously tested for more than 6 months At a low level, HIV will not be transmitted through sexual contact.

This conclusion is based on medical empirical experience and supported by multiple medical academic research institutes.

Zhou Kai said, therefore, there is no need to be afraid of the HIV virus, nor should the infected person give birth to it.

  Zhou Kai also emphasized that women infected with HIV can give birth to healthy babies.

"If the mother continues to take antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy and breastfeeding, it can almost eliminate the risk of mother-to-child transmission."

The goal of eliminating AIDS by 2030.

Photo courtesy of UNAIDS

"Hand in hand to fight against AIDS and share health responsibilities"

  Every year, 1.7 million people are still infected with HIV and about 690,000 people die from AIDS-related diseases.

Gauden Galea, the representative of the World Health Organization in China, said that we plan to eliminate the public health threat of AIDS by 2030, but our progress is behind schedule.

The current COVID-19 pandemic crisis may further deviate our progress in prevention and treatment.

  Gao Li emphasized that we know how to prevent and treat AIDS.

Today, we have better means than ever to prevent, diagnose and treat AIDS.

"Efforts by countries to achieve universal health coverage are the best way to ensure that everyone can access medical and health services related to AIDS and various other diseases when they need it."

  Smriti Aryal, country director of the UN Women's China Office, believes that the new crown epidemic has dealt a heavy blow to women infected with HIV and women who are related to key AIDS groups.

Like other women, women who live with key populations are the main caregivers of the family and tend to put the needs of others first.

  An Siqi said that due to the lockdown and economic slowdown, many women may be trapped by the perpetrator, face greater risks of violence, and cannot obtain timely AIDS treatment and other health services.

"The increase in vulnerability may wipe out the hard-won AIDS control results."

  "One person's power is small, but the collective strength of unity can allow us to do more, faster, and more effectively." An Siqi called for a comprehensive strategy to address these challenges and support women’s communities and their Action to respond to AIDS.

  Claire Courteille-Mulder, director of the Beijing Bureau of the International Labor Organization, said that according to relevant assessments and research conducted by the United Nations, so far, vulnerable groups, including people living with HIV, are the hardest hit by the epidemic.

Those who were in a disadvantaged position before the crisis have a harder time going back to work and getting a livelihood.

Due to the epidemic, people with chronic diseases such as HIV-infected people are in a more difficult situation.

  Ke Kailin said that to achieve economic recovery, we need everyone to work together to ensure that everyone is a part of the recovery and no one is left behind. Of course, this also includes people living with HIV.

We need to rebuild a better future and make sure everyone’s lives are back on track.

  "We are now living in a world where AIDS and the new crown pandemic coexist, and our response strategies must be consistent." The UNHCR representative in China, Sivanka Dhanapala (Sivanka Dhanapala) said, we must ensure our health services Benefit everyone, especially the most vulnerable among us.

We must stand together and share the responsibility of providing accessible and affordable health care and treatment for all.

We must also maintain public trust, remain open, and compassionate to overcome fear and anxiety, discrimination and marginalization.

  “As the new crown epidemic has gradually stabilized in China, services such as testing, consultation, treatment and care for the infected and key populations led by community organizations have quickly resumed. UNAIDS believes that with the support of national policies and With full participation, in a good environment that respects human rights and protects vulnerable groups, if everyone can contribute their own meager strength, we can defeat the two epidemics of COVID-19 and AIDS." Zhou Kai said, let each of us use practical actions , In response to the theme of this year's AIDS Day, "Join hands to prevent and fight AIDS, and share health responsibilities"!