A bold vision to end mother to child transmission of HIV and create an AIDS free generation by 2015 was unveiled at a World AIDS Day event at the Sydney Opera House which saw it’s sails and the pylons of the Sydney Harbour Bridge lit red.
Governor General Quentin Bryce cut a ribbon symbolising a break with the past by moving forward to not just contain the virus but cease its spread in at risk communities by 2015.
Keynote speakers included the Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon, Pacific Friends of the Global Fund chair Wendy McCarthy and executive director Bill Bowtell, NAPWA president Robert Mitchell, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore and AIDS ambassadors from across the Asia Pacific region – with a large media contingent from mainland China on hand to cover the event.
Speaking ahead of the event, McCarthy said, “Creating an AIDS free generation by 2015 is an ambitious but attainable goal. It is one to which the world must remain committed.”
“Tremendous progress has been made towards preventing further transmission of HIV, but we must now redouble efforts. Lack of funding, and complacency, are our greatest enemies.”
Attendees also heard a special video message from Elton John recorded in Brisbane the same day, who regretted being unable to attend due to performance commitments but looked forward to being in Sydney in person the following day.