I am speaking on behalf of the two constituencies including Austria, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Switzerland and Norway.
We thank UNAIDS for the comprehensive and improved performance report. We note that budget constraints must have had an impact on delivery, and we would have therefore appreciated information on what could not be delivered.
Despite several reported successful activities, stigma and discrimination still remain major barriers to effective HIV response worldwide. There is no easy solution, and we would like to emphasise the important role of the Joint Programme in keeping this subject high on the agenda. We therefore welcome the collaboration with the Human Rights Council.
HIV prevention is everyone’s right. Primary prevention remains the most sustainable approach in ending the epidemic, and it must be intensified to significantly reduce new infections. We are pleased to see several efforts advancing SRHR, including youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services and comprehensive sexuality education,
HIV testing remains a challenge. More innovative testing strategies, such as the lLO’s VCT@WORK Initiative and UNFPA’s contribution to link HIV with sexual and reproductive health services, are needed to reach more infected persons including key populations. The WHO self-testing guidelines offer opportunities to increase testing. It is important that these guidelines are now being put into practise.
We welcome the progress made on HIV treatment. This achievement has become possible only with well-coordinated activities across the Joint Programme and with other actors. However, gaps remain. Men access services to a lesser extent than women. There are also critical gaps in key populations and adolescents. Prisons remain underserved in all aspects of prevention and treatment as pointed out recently by the UNODC.
In conclusion, we appreciate the very informative report. The challenges and future actions are clearly described, which helps to understand the problems ahead towards the achievement of the three zero’s.