World Aids Day 2009
1 December is World Aids Day. The theme this year is Universal Access and Human Rights. Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit has given the following statement:
- Access for all to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support is a critical part of human rights. Violations of human rights, including stigma and discrimination increase the risk of HIV and its impact. World Aids Day 2009 invites us all to engage, care and to keep the promise.
- To stop aids, youth-led action must be facilitated. We need the engagement of youth to move forward in the response. There are several reasons for that: We cannot afford to lose the focus on aids now when we have come so far. Over the last six years, the number of people who have access to treatment in low income countries has increased from 400 000 to 4 million. We need renewed engagement to keep up the good efforts. It is also important to include youth in the aids response because young people under 24 are today the group most vulnerable to new infections. A third reason is that we need the openness, energy and expertise of youth to keep up the fighting spirit for human rights and against stigma and discrimination. It is young people who can lead the way in a new generation of aids response. They should define what is important to them. They know what makes them vulnerable. They can teach the older generation what works – and they can communicate through new channels. This will create new possibilities and ensure different perspectives in future responses.