BEIJING, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- China and Africa cooperation is based on a shared vision for social development -- recognizing that good health will also lead to mutual economic gains, said a senior United Nations (UN) official.
Michel Sidibe, UN under-secretary-general and executive director of UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, made the remarks in an interview with Xinhua in Beijing Tuesday.
Sidibe commended China on achieving huge progress in countering the epidemic, adding UNAIDS has been working closely with China through a long partnership. "Gains in health outcomes equal gains for development."
In the effort to end the AIDS epidemic as a public threat, China has launched national AIDS campaigns over the past three decades. By the end of 2017, China had almost stopped the spread of HIV through blood transfusions and effectively controlled infection through injective drug use and from mother to child transmission.
Sidibe noted the global progress as uneven. While China is doing well some countries are seeing high rates of new HIV infections.
Through cooperation China will certainly reinforce the capability of African countries to counter the epidemic, such as producing medicine to be available in Africa, he said.
Sidibe cited examples of several African ministries of health coming to China to learn more about scaling up harm reduction and HIV prevention for people who use drugs.
UNAIDS pledges to work toward the goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as well as the widely-adopted 90-90-90 target -- by 2020: 90 percent of people living with HIV know their status, 90 percent of people who know their status receive treatment, and 90 percent of people receiving treatment have a suppressed viral load.
Bringing together the efforts and resources of the UNAIDS Secretariat and 11 co-sponsoring organizations of the United Nations system including WHO, UNICEF, UN Women, UNESCO, UNAIDS works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.
"Today we have nearly 22 million people on life-saving HIV treatment. We have also recorded the lowest number of AIDS-related deaths in recent history," said Sidibe.
"Ending AIDS is not a foregone conclusion," Sidibe told Xinhua. "Our future must include an AIDS-free generation."