On this World AIDS Day we are proud to stand with so many others across the globe in reaffirming our commitment to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic once and for all. Our global community is better positioned than ever to achieve this goal, thanks to the efforts of governments, multilaterals, businesses, civil society groups, and NGOs.
Today more than 18 million people around the world are receiving treatment, including more than 11.8 million people who have access to lifesaving HIV/AIDS medications at lower cost through the work of the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). The number of deaths attributable to HIV/AIDS is decreasing, and we continue to make important progress in reducing mother to child transmission.
But there is still much more to be done. We must continue to work together to expand and improve testing, begin treatment without delay for everyone who is HIV-positive, and reduce the disproportionately high burden of disease among young women and girls in many regions due to gender-driven inequities. We must also remain steadfast in opposing discriminatory policies that make it harder for LGBTQ communities around the world to access prevention, testing, and treatment.
As we remember those who have lost their lives to AIDS, we can honor their memory by renewing our dedication in this fight, giving all HIV-positive individuals the chance to live long, fulfilling lives, and helping prevent all those without the virus from contracting it. We remain committed to doing our part.