15 years ago, the world was a very different place.
Life-saving HIV medicine was only available to a few. Millions died—needlessly. If you had HIV, where you lived determined whether you lived. The magic of pills that could bring someone on death’s door back to life in as little as 90 days was reserved for the few who could afford it.
15 years ago those pills cost as much as $300 a day. But over the years activists, politicians NGOs and many more fought for pharmaceutical companies to bring down the cost of this medicine. It's simple - the cheaper the pills, the more accessible life-saving medicine becomes.
Today these pills cost roughly 30 cents a day.
Incredible progress has been made in the fight against AIDS. 15 million people are now on life-saving HIV treatment — more people than ever before. The global response to HIV has averted 30 million new HIV infections and nearly 8 million AIDS-related deaths since 2000. This is incredible progress but it’s not enough.
Nearly 37 million people are still living with HIV/AIDS — a treatable and preventable disease. Every day 600 babies are born with HIV. But they don’t have to be.
This is a big week. World leaders are gathering to adopt the 'Global Goals' — an ambitious shared strategy aimed at ending extreme poverty. One of these goals, known as Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 aims to "ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages," and includes a target of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
It's an ambitious goal, and it should be. We can achieve it, but only if we make sure our leaders deliver on their promises and step up to do more… reminding us how critical our mission is and how time is of the absolute essence when lives are on the line.
Let's commit to beat this preventable and treatable disease once and for all.