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UN chief calls for global solidarity against COVID-19, AIDS
update:December 02,2020
UNITED NATIONS, Dec.2,2020 -- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called for global solidarity and shared responsibility to overcome not only the COVID-19 pandemic, but also AIDS.
In a message, the UN chief urged the world not to lose sight of AIDS in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.
"Despite significant successes, the AIDS emergency is not over. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) still infects 1.7 million people each year and kills some 690,000," he said.
Guterres highlighted the impact of inequalities, leaving the vulnerable most affected, a fact evidenced by the coronavirus pandemic.
"COVID-19 has been a wake-up call to the world. Inequalities in health affect all of us. No one is safe unless we all are safe," he added, noting that "wealth should not determine whether people get the health care they need."
"We need a COVID-19 vaccine and HIV treatments and care that are affordable and available to everyone, everywhere," said the top UN official.
Guterres reiterated that health must be a top investment priority to achieve universal health coverage. He called for an end to stigma and discrimination, putting people at the center and grounding AIDS and COVID-19 responses in human rights and gender-responsive approaches.
"On this World AIDS Day let us recognize that, to overcome COVID-19 and end AIDS, the world must stand in solidarity and share responsibility," he said.
The World AIDS Day, which falls on Dec. 1, is an international day dedicated to raising awareness about the spread of the AIDS epidemic and mourning those who have died of the disease. This year's theme is "Global solidarity, shared responsibility." 
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