Message on the occasion of World Aids Day 2015

Mon, 30 November 2015 | Health

Dear People of Seychelles,

The commemoration of World AIDS Day is an opportune moment for me to address you on the devastating disease.

Today marks the 28th anniversary of International World AIDS Day, almost three decades of relentless fight against HIV and AIDS.  Today is a day when countries the world over stand together in solidarity, reflect on the progress being made in these raging battles, analyse the persistent  challenges, and evaluate the impact of the epidemic on individuals, families and communities.

It is also a special day when we gather in harmony to reaffirm our commitment to reaching the HIV and AIDS goal agreed by communities globally, regionally and nationally. Together, we believe in Getting to Zero by 2030. In the meantime, and sadly, the incidence of new infections is still on the rise. Now, more than ever, it is the time to work together to combat the disease.

It is also a day when we honour and remember those who have lost their lives and have succumbed to AIDS and its related complications; those who died before we had treatment for AIDS, and unfortunately too, those who have died in spite of treatment being freely and widely available.  This year, to our dismay, we have still recorded AIDS-related deaths, among those, many who refused treatment.  Several families today mourn the loss of a loved one -- a mother, a father, a brother or sister, even a child.  They remain in our thoughts and prayers.

In their honour, and for the sake of our common future, my government reiterates its commitment to our HIV and AIDS response.  We have to work hard together to achieve Zero new HIV infections, Zero AIDS-related deaths, and Zero stigma and discrimination.

Today, I commend all the many people who, with great dedication and compassion, care for those affected. I praise the efforts of all public and private agencies, civil society and faith-based organisations, individuals and families, actively engaged in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Let us join our forces and renew our engagement to end this devastating epidemic.

James Alix Michel

The President of the Republic of Seychelles and Patron of the National Aids Council

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