A high-level side event during the 69th United Nations General Assembly was co-convened by Ghana and Switzerland, in collaboration with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), calling for ending the AIDS epidemic as a public threat by 2030, according to a UNAIDS statement.

The world leaders urged this outcome to be a central agenda of the post-2015 U.N. goals, which are still being crafted. These new goals will replace the Millennium Development Goals, which guided the collective actions of U.N. members from 2000 to 2015. The post-2015 goals also would cover a 15-year period.

To achieve this outcome, a fast-track strategy would need to be implemented. In the next five years, a key tactic for the strategy to succeed would require countries, especially those with high HIV rates, to provide prevention services to people most at risk and treatment to people in areas with high HIV prevalence.

UNAIDS claims that this fast-track approach, if fully implemented, would prevent 18 million new HIV cases and 11 million deaths by 2030. Such implementation now would greatly reduce costs related to the epidemic after 2020. If the targets for 2020 are not met until 2030, however, UNAIDS claims costs will continue to climb.