Delivered by Iwatutu Joyce Adewole, Incoming Africa Delegate, African Girl Child Development and Support Initiative
I speak on my own behalf as a Nigerian young woman and as an incoming PCB NGO Africa Delegate.‘’
I want to speak of a silent killer on my continent. And of global solidarity and shared responsibility. I want to speak of cervical cancer.
Chair, 85% of women with cervical cancer and HIV live in sub-Saharan Africa. 85%! That’s almost half a million new cases in the region every 12 months. Not a total of women living with and dying of cervical cancer, but of new cases.
The HPV vaccine in my region costs about a hundred dollars. Let’s remember the financial gap women face and the many who live below one dollar a day. In the global north, over 90% of girls who need the HPV vaccine are receiving it. In my region over 90% of girls who need it are not receiving it. Let’s talk about inequality.
Madam Executive Director, we need not only one People’s vaccine for COVID, but another for universal access of all girls to HPV. Let’s talk about global solidarity.
Women living with HIV grapple with multiple vulnerabilities, including cervical cancer. Treatment is unaffordable for them, transport is unaffordable, machines in health facilities don’t work.
Yet, despite all these inequities, we have eliminated other conditions such as polio. We want the same efforts to be put into HPV. We need to strive to eliminate HPV and cervical cancer. I ask that the Joint Programme shares the responsibility to create new ways of meeting our health needs even if this means working with new partners and thinking more broadly in the HIV response to achieve this.
Tags: 47th PCB Meeting
Delivered by Sasha Volgina, Global Network of People Living w/ HIV
Delivered by Jules Kim, Asia and the Pacific, on behalf of the NGO Delegation
I deliver this intervention on behalf of the NGO Delegation.
Cervical cancer is entirely preventable and as we have heard entirely possible to eliminate. With the availability of vaccines and routine screening, there is no need for any individual with a cervix, regardless of their gender or sexuality, including women, girls, trans*, non-binary and intersex people to be affected by or die from cervical cancer. And the concerning reality is that women living with HIV are more susceptible to developing cervical cancer.
Yet the continuing resistance to implementing inclusive and integrated systems of prevention, treatment, knowledge and care around sexual reproductive health and rights and the underlying inequities in our health systems and cultures against women and key populations, create unnecessary barriers to women’s health. This must change.
We can eliminate cervical cancer- but to do so we must stop denying the autonomy of all women and girls and key populations over their own bodies and sexual health. We must stop the delusion that women and girls do not have to informed about sex and sexual health and rights. We must fund the integration of essential care and combination prevention services for cervical cancer and HIV. And we must eliminate the financial, societal and structural barriers, including stigma, discrimination and gender based violence that prevent access to necessary support, services, prevention and care for all women, girls and key populations.
We urge MS to ensure funding and access to combination prevention, care, screening and treatment for cervical cancer for all women, girls, trans*, non binary and intersex people living with and affected by HIV in all our diversity. We can and must act to prevent and eliminate cervical cancer.
Delivered by Jules Kim, Asia and the Pacific
This statement is delivered on behalf of the NGO Delegation and in support of the statements by Frontline AIDS, AIDS Action Europe, Aidsfonds and the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) and in support of the revised guiding principles and the recommended amendments to DP 13.7 calling on the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS speak with one voice, respecting its guiding principles, and acting to protect, respect and fulfil the human rights of all.
Today is International Day to End Violence against sex workers. It is a day where we commemorate the lives of sex workers lost to violence. There is not a sex worker in the world who’s life has not been touched by violence. And this has been heightened during the COVID pandemic
Today sex workers globally stand collectively to remember
Today we remember other sex workers no longer with us and we stop the silencing of us by the systems that take advantage of the stigma and discrimination that invisibilises us and ignores our agency, voices and lived realities.
It is a day when we affirm that sex work is work and recognise that we are a community disproportionately affected by HIV and AIDS and the COVID-19 pandemic. This cannot and will not change without the end to the state sanctioned violence against us through the criminalisation of our work. Evidence definitively supports that decriminalisation of sex work will and does reduce HIV rates and risk and is the single intervention that would have the greatest effect on the course of HIV epidemics across all settings for all sex workers regardless of how we ended up in sex work.
So today on International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers we call for the recognition of sex worker rights as an essential step in ending gender-based violence, a key driver of HIV among women and key populations. We demand that the violence against us enacted by the discriminatory laws and policies against us ends and we call on the UNAIDS Joint Programme including its cosponsors not act to perpetuate this violence against us.
Delivered by Alexander Pastoors, Europe
Thank you chair,
The NGO Delegation welcomes the outcome of the Working Group and appreciates the work done to implement both formal and informal recommendations of the JIU. The Joint Program and the UNAIDS secretariat have taken big steps in changing the organization in the direction of the UNAIDS we need as communities of people living with and affected by HIV.
The NGO Delegation supports the Decision Points and welcomes the clarification of the oversight role of the PCB via an annex to the modus operandi. It’s an indispensable step to restoring the faith of donors in the joint program and therefore, it secures the future of an indispensable organization to support governments, civil society, and communities in the fight to end AIDS.
Looking at the status report of the implementation of the JIU recommendations it is clear that in some aspects great steps forward have been taken, yet when it comes to the program of change for UNAIDS, given the statement of the USSA, further steps have to be taken.
The delegation appreciates the revamped Guiding Principles of the Cosponsors but is mindful of the observed divergence between official statements by Cosponsors and the HIV policies that supported by the dedicated staff of Cosponsors of the Joint Program. It’s a sign that what the PCB agrees upon does not always reach the boards of the Cosponsors and this needs to change. In short, the proof of the pudding, dear colleagues of the PCB, is in the eating.
The NGO Delegation is looking forward to the full implementation of the Decision Points on this matter.
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