UN / WORLD AIDS DAY PRESSER

29-Nov-2021 00:01:57
Ahead of World AIDS Day, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) issued a “stark warning” that AIDS remains a pandemic, and that “bold actions against inequalities” are needed “to end AIDS, stop COVID-19 and prepare for future pandemics.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / WORLD AIDS DAY PRESSER
TRT: 1:57
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 29 NOVEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
FILE – NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, flags outside UN headquarters

29 NOVEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Núñez at dais
3. SOUNDBITE (English) César Núñez, Director of New York Office, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS):
“The news that I bring to you today from this report are actually a stark warning that AIDS remains a pandemic, and that this report calls for bold actions against inequalities that are needed to end AIDS, stop COVID-19 and prepare for future pandemics.”
4. Wide shot, journalists
5. SOUNDBITE (English) César Núñez, Director of New York Office, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS):
“In the beginning, we were under the impression that people living with HIV were not going to be affected differently by COVID. That has been proven wrong. They experience more severe outcome outcomes and have higher comorbidities from COVID-19 than people not living with HIV. In mid-2021, most people with HIV did not have access to COVID-19 vaccines, which is also a challenge.”
6. Wide shot, journalists (under soundbite)
7. Wide shot, Núñez at dais
8. SOUNDBITE (English) César Núñez, Director of New York Office, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS):
“What are the measures that are needed to tackle inequalities as presented in our report? Number one, community-led and people-centred infrastructure. This is something that we have seen one and again proven to be effective. Second, equitable access to medicines, vaccines and health technologies. Third, human rights to build trust and tackle pandemics. Fourth, elevating essential workers and providing them with the resources and tools they need. And fifth, people-centred data systems that highlight inequalities. We have reached a fork in the road that shows the choice for leaders to make is between bold action and half measures. The data is clear, it has been too gradual; that is the unaffordable choice. Every minute that passes we're losing a precious life to AIDS, and we don't have that time.”
9. Wide shot, Núñez leaving dais
STORYLINE
Ahead of World AIDS Day, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) issued a “stark warning” that AIDS remains a pandemic, and that “bold actions against inequalities” are needed “to end AIDS, stop COVID-19 and prepare for future pandemics.”

Addressing reporters in New York today (29 Nov) the Director of UNAIDS’s New York Office, Dr César Núñez, this year marks 40 years since AIDS was first reported and 25 years since the establishment of UNAIDS by the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

He said the UNAIDS report released today showed that some 28.2 million people globally haveaccess to antiretroviral therapy as of the end of June this year, representing 73 percent of all those who may need it.

Núñez said, at the beginning of the COVID-19, “we were under the impression that people living with HIV were not going to be affected differently by COVID. That has been proven wrong. They experience more severe outcome outcomes and have higher comorbidities from COVID-19 than people not living with HIV. In mid-2021, most people with HIV did not have access to COVID-19 vaccines, which is also a challenge.”

The Head of the UNAIDS Office in New York said studies from England and South Africa found that the risk of dying from COVID-19 among people living with HIV was double that of the general population. He said, while Sub-Saharan Africa is home to two-thirds of people living with HIV, less than three percent of people in Africa had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine by July 2021.

Núñez added that COVID-19 lockdowns and other restrictions disrupted HIV testing, and in many countries led to a steep drop in diagnoses and referrals to HIV treatment.

The UNAIDS official listed the measures needed to tackle inequalities as presented in the report. These include community-led and people-centred infrastructure, equitable access to medicines, vaccines and health technologies, human rights to build trust and tackle pandemics, elevating essential workers and providing them with the resources and tools they need, and people-centred data systems that highlight inequalities.

Núñez said, “We have reached a fork in the road that shows the choice for leaders to make is between bold action and half measures. The data is clear, it has been too gradual; that is the unaffordable choice. Every minute that passes we're losing a precious life to AIDS, and we don't have that time.”
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