PMB, Obama, Others to address UN HIV/AIDS Summit In New York

By Mayokun Akinmolayan, Lagosunnamed (2)

President Mohammed Buhari, his United States counterpart, President Barrack Obama, and hundreds of world leaders will be speaking at the 2016 United Nations General Assembly High-level Meeting on HIV/AID.

A press statement made available to our reporter in Lagos stated that the UN General Assembly will convene the high-level meeting which will majorly focus on HIV/AIDS (HLM) from 8-10 June 2016 at UN Headquarters in New York.

According to statement, the summit will undertake a comprehensive review of the progress achieved in realizing the 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and the 2006 and 2011 Political Declarations on HIV/AIDS.

It will adopt a concise and action-oriented declaration as its outcome, to be agreed upon by Member States, to guide and monitor the HIV/AIDS response beyond 2015, towards achieving the commitment of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

National Trail gathered that the high-level meeting will comprise plenary meetings and up to five thematic panel discussions, which will include opportunities for civil society participation.

The opening plenary meeting will feature statements by the President of the UN General Assembly, the UN Secretary-General, the Executive Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), a person openly living with HIV and an eminent person actively engaged in the response to HIV/AIDS.

As part of the event, the President of the General Assembly will organize an informal interactive civil society hearing in April 2016 (date TBC), with the active participation of people living with HIV and broader civil society, attended by representatives of UN Member and Observer States and observers, NGOs, CSOs and the private sector.

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a retrovirus that infects cells of the immune system, destroying or impairing their function. As the infection progresses, the immune system becomes weaker, and the person becomes more susceptible to infections. The most advanced stage of HIV infection is acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). It can take 10-15 years for an HIV-infected person to develop AIDS; antiretroviral drugs can slow down the process even further.

HIV is transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse (anal or vaginal), transfusion of contaminated blood, sharing of contaminated needles, and between a mother and her infant during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.

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