During her participation in the high-level meeting on HIV and AIDS conceived within the agenda of the 75th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN), the Vice-minister of Collective Health Networks of the People’s Power Ministry for Health, Marisela Bermúdez, reiterated the urgent need to move towards a more just world and thereby preserve life on the planet.
In her speech, Vice-minister Bermúdez highlighted that the Bolivarian Government has a “Law for the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Equality of People with HIV or AIDS and their Families”, promulgated in 2014, which stipulates access to antiretrovirals universally free of charge without any distinction, including residents from other countries, despite the unilateral coercive measures imposed by the United States Government and allied countries against Venezuela, which in general have affected the health of the Venezuelan people, by restricting access and acquisition of drugs, diagnostic tests and other supplies.
Likewise, she assured that the strength of the Venezuelan State has been the articulated and persevering work to expand universal and free access to comprehensive care in the face of the adversities generated by the sanctions and the situation of COVID-19 pandemic; thus highlighting the diligent administration of UNAIDS and other offices and agencies for helping to define and deploy the priorities contained in the master plan for strengthening the response to HIV, tuberculosis and malaria in Venezuela from a public health perspective.
From the multilateral space, the Vice-minister of Collective Health Networks also ratified the commitment of the Bolivarian Government with the ambitious 90-90-90 goal to contribute to the end of the human immunodeficiency virus, contemplated in 3 points:
• That 90% of people living with HIV know their HIV status.
• That 90% of people diagnosed with HIV receive continuous antiretroviral therapy.
• That 90% of people receiving antiretroviral therapy are virally suppressed.
At the end of her speech, she recognized the work of the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, in the fight against COVID-19; and the solidarity cooperation of countries such as Cuba, Russia, China and Turkey, among others, which have contributed to reduce the effects of the economic blockade.
The Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to realize its global goal of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS brings together the efforts of 11 United Nations organizations (UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank) and works closely with global and national partners to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.