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On the occasion of the World AIDS Day

On this World AIDS DAY, our thoughts are with all those who have lost a loved one and those who are still left behind, and our aspiration to accelerate efforts to end AIDS through transformative curriculum is even more solid than before.
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The world has indeed made a tangible progress since 2000 as new HIV infections have fallen by 35% and as AIDS-related deaths have decreased by 42% since 2004. However, we are still facing significant challenges. In Africa, AIDS-related illnesses are still among the leading causes of death of many, especially among adolescents and women. Despite tremendous work, only 26% of girls and 33% of boys between the ages of 15-19 have a good understanding of HIV transmission and prevention methods.

Irrefutably, AIDS is a disease of inequality and socially marginalised communities much of which can be dealt with through equitable and transformative curriculum. Much accent has been put on equipping youth with the necessary and relevant knowledge and skills on prevention and transmission of HIV.  Yet within the Fast-track Treatment Target and the Sustainable Development Agenda, we shall also emphasize on a transformative education that equally empowers young people with understanding and tolerance towards ‘the other’ and a training for teachers and curriculum specialists that promotes the core ideas of ‘equal opportunities and diversity’. 

UNESCO is fully committed to the new UNAIDS Strategy 2016-2021 and we, as a UNESCO category 1 Institute and a centre of Excellence in curriculum and related matters, will contribute to the fight against HIV/AIDS through curricular activities in close collaboration with our Member States. 

Let us accelerate efforts as we still have a window of hope to change the rules of the game in the AIDS epidemic.