Michel Sidibé, the Executive Director of UNAIDS and Under Secretary-General of the United Nations, one of the featured speakers at the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. this week, is calling for an end to HIV transmission from mother-to-child, which continues to occur hundreds of thousands of times a year.
He appeared on the main stage with Florence Uche Ignatius and her daughter Ebube Francais Taylor at the opening session of AIDS 2012. Florence has HIV but was given treatment to prevent transmission. Ebube was not infected with the virus.
“It is not acceptable in 2012 that we have the drugs in the north and people are suffering in the south because they do not have access to treatment,” he said.
Ending mother-to-child transmission of HIV is one of the issues identified in the official declaration of the conference, which calls for providing treatment for all pregnant and nursing women living with HIV. Read about it in the Washington D.C. Declaration.