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December 1, 2018

World AIDS Day: Statement from José Luis Castro, President and CEO of Vital Strategies

“HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, despite significant advancements in treating and preventing the virus, and we are falling short of the Sustainable Development Goals target to end AIDS by 2030. On World AIDS day, we urge governments to redouble their commitment to prevent the spread of the virus and to strengthen public health protections for the vulnerable HIV+ population.

“TB is responsible for more than one-third of HIV-associated deaths, while smoking is the leading cause of death among people living with HIV. Proven, cost-effective measures that governments can implement to improve the lives of people living with HIV include controlling TB and reducing tobacco availability and use. Implementing these measures are a win/win for public health, providing protection across wide populations and extra benefits for those living with HIV.“

Additional background:

The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 37 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2017, and 940,000 people died from HIV-related causes that year. Governments could reduce that death toll by implementing integrated policies to address HIV and health threats that shorten the lives of people living with HIV including Tuberculosis (TB) and tobacco use. According to WHO, the adoption of collaborative TB/HIV activities helped to save an estimated 1.3 million lives between 2005 and 2011.

For more information about Vital Strategies’ work, please visit: http://www.vitalstrategies.org or follow us at @VitalStrat.

Media Contact:

Christina Honeysett, Director, Public Relations – choneysett@vitalstrategies.org; 914.424.3356

Tracey Johnston, Senior Communications Advisor – tjohnston@vitalstrategies.org; +44 7889 081170

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