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2011 UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS (UNGASS)

Thirty years after the outbreak of the Aids epidemic, the world has met to examine the progress made so far and to map out possible future responses sto Aids. The high-level meeting took place at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York and was attended by more than 30 heads of state and government.

 UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS, 8-9 June 2011, New York
 Speech by SDC Director-General Martin Dahinden (fr)
 Statement by SDC Director-General Martin Dahinden (video)
 Media release (07.06.2011)

HIV/AIDS – Giving priority to prevention

In the past 10 years there have been some encouraging results where HIV/AIDS is concerned. Nevertheless, although by 2009 the epidemic stabilized globally, infection rates in some countries are still on the increase. We still face major challenges, particularly in the areas of prevention and the protection of human rights. Homophobia, punitive legislation and sexist violence are increasingly undermining the efforts made to improve the access of key population groups to HIV-related services.

Key facts

Almost 7,000 people, including 1,000 children, become infected with HIV each day.
In 2009, there were 33.3 million people living with HIV around the world, 68% of them in sub-Saharan Africa.
There were 14.6 million children orphaned by HIV in 2005; 16.6 million in 2009.
In 2009, there were 2 new cases of infection for each person beginning a course of treatment.

Since its discovery in the early 1980s, HIV has been responsible for more than 25 million deaths. There has been a massive international response. The resources devoted to combating AIDS increased from USD 1.6 billion in 2001 to USD 15.9 billion in 2009, with remarkable results. For one, there has been a 19% decrease in the number of new cases of infection over the last 10 years, and for another, access to anti-viral treatments has improved in low-income countries while, the cost of such treatments has fallen. Nonetheless, progress remains fragile and unevenly spread. It is essential that we be more innovative in our partnerships and provision of funding. We all have to assume our responsibilities, at different levels.

The SDC’s focus:

Improving access to information, prevention, treatment, care services and support, without discrimination

Switzerland is making an active contribution to worldwide efforts to combat HIV/AIDS by supporting specialized international organizations such as the WHO, UNAIDS and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, as well as and international and regional organizations, federations and networks. In its bilateral relations, Switzerland is concentrating on prevention, particularly in the context of sexual and reproductive health programmes, and on improving access to care services, support and treatment without discrimination. The HIV/AIDS component is included in development aid programmes using a transversal approach: for example, each bilateral programme conducted in a region where HIV is endemic considers the role of persons infected with HIV in regard to the development programme and its impact on them, and vice versa.

The SDC also supports some activities undertaken by Swiss NGOs involved internationally in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and encourages them to network and coordinate their efforts within Switzerland. The SDC also cooperates with the private sector, universities and academics.

Theme contact: Nathalie Vesco

Additional Information and Documents

  • Mainstreaming HIV in practice
    A toolkit with a collection of resources, checklists and examples on CD Rom for SDC and its partners
    Download (PDF, 4758 KB) [en]   [fr]  
  • Factsheet: SDC AIDS policy 2002-2007
    Factsheet - 1.12.2003
    Download (PDF, 89 KB) [de]   [en]   [fr]   [it]   [es]  
  • Un seul monde
    Disponible seulement en Suisse
    No. 3/2009 : Changement climatique / Mozambique / Croissance de la population / Tanzanie-SIDA
    Download (PDF, 2075 KB) [de]   [fr]   [it]  
  • United Nation's Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS
    United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS, 25-27 June 2001
    Download (PDF, 667 KB) [en]   [fr]   [es]  
  • Special report on pandemics, published in issue no. 1/2006 of Un seul monde
    Download (PDF, 354 KB) [de]   [fr]   [it]  
  • SDC Factsheet Multilateral organisations: GFATM
    Switzerland and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria GFATM
    Download (PDF, 501 KB) [de]   [en]   [fr]  
  • SDC Health Policy 2003 - 2010
    Download (PDF, 74 KB) [de]   [en]   [fr]   [it]  
  • SDC HIV and AIDS Community of Practice
    Download (PDF, 782 KB) [en]  
  • Mainstreaming: A Response to HIV and AIDS in Humanitarian Assistance
    Download (PDF, 148 KB) [en]  
  • The Media in Education Trust Africa
    Download (PDF, 135 KB) [en]  
  • Parliamentarians for Global Action
    Download (PDF, 126 KB) [en]  
  • The Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative
    Download (PDF, 324 KB) [en]  
  • Technical Assistance for the World Food Programme's HIV and AIDS Response
    Download (PDF, 308 KB) [en]  
  • SDC Support for SolidarMed's Antiretroviral Treatment Project (Smart)
    Download (PDF, 165 KB) [en]  
  • A focus on psychosocial support
    Africa Brief - November 2010
    Download (PDF, 1190 KB) [de]   [en]   [fr]  

External Links
Articles and Press releases