The right to health is everyone's right and wherever this right is compromised, HIV spreads. This fact is central to the engagement of the African Development Bank.
The African Development Bank commends UNAIDs for leading the 2017 World Aids Day campaign, on the theme "My Health, My Right" which focuses on broader rights to health and explores the challenges people face in exercising these rights.
Africa continues to carry a disproportionate burden of HIV, accounting for about two-thirds of the people living with HIV worldwide, with girls and women disproportionately affected. Improving access to quality health services and medicines has been a guiding principle for the African Development Bank since AIDS was first diagnosed in Africa.
The right to health campaign aims to ensure that access to antiretroviral therapy continues to increase among the number of people living with HIV - estimated at about 15 million people in Africa out of 21 million globally in June 2017. Furthermore, combatting HIV/AIDS requires that affected people are treated with respect and dignity and without discrimination. And of course proper sanitation, decent housing, healthy working conditions and a clean environment also play a critical role.
Guided by its High 5 priorities - particularly Improve the quality of life of the people of Africa, Feed Africa and Industrialize Africa, the African Development Bank supports various programmes that contribute to the fight against HIV/AIDS. Of particular importance are health and nutrition programmes that foster positive development outcomes in communities including those affected by HIV.
We also promote policy dialogue with our Regional Member Countries on ways to achieve better results from resources currently available for health systems with a view to achieve good value for money and ultimately universal health coverage. With this, we hope that countries on the African continent will be able to sustain the unprecedented gains in access to antiretroviral therapy and achieve the goal of ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic as a public health threat by 2030.
The African Development Bank will continue to use its position as the most trusted development finance institution on the continent to support the fight against HIV/AIDS, led by its Regional Member Countries.