The global commitment to ending the AIDS epidemic, as set forth in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, represents an unparalleled opportunity to end one of the most devastating modern-day health challenges and also to build on the momentum of the AIDS response in order to accelerate results across the sustainable development agenda.
Even when confronted with the vast scale of the global AIDS epidemic, the response to HIV has never lost sight of the value and experience of each individual affected, their hopes and frustrations and their right to health and well-being. I have had the privilege of spending time with people engaged in the AIDS response, including people living with HIV. I have learned about their difficulties in getting access to the antiretroviral medicines that keep them alive and about the fear and stigma they live with each day. Many have also expressed their unwavering belief that we can end this epidemic. Their stories of courage and hope embody the resolve of all those involved in the AIDS response. Today, we can appreciate the remarkable progress we have made together, but also how far we have to go to ensure that no one is left behind.
The AIDS response has delivered more than results. It has delivered the aspiration and the practical foundation, including the medical advancements, interventions and partnerships, to end the epidemic by 2030. All that truly remains, the missing link that will determine whether fast-track targets will be met or missed, is the political commitment to implement our proven tools adequately and equitably.