50th PCB - Intervention by Jumoke Patrick - Agenda item 2 Follow-up to the thematic segment from the 49th PCB meeting

Delivered by Jumoke Patrick, Latin America and the Caribbean, on behalf of the NGO Delegation

Thank you chair,

I speak on behalf of the NGO Delegation

We made a deliberate promise at the 49th PCB that you will be hearing from us on this agenda item again. The truth is, we don’t believe many countries and people in positions of power and leadership are listening, and we don’t believe many want to listen as evidenced in their actions

But let me first express my appreciation and thanks to the speakers at the 49th PCB thematic for deciding to recognize that the global HIV response can do more and should do more when it comes to data. Data are essential to health not only to achieve a more focused and better-quality health for all but also to design and deliver HIV programmes and quality healthcare for all more effectively. To design and implement holistic and differentiated programmes using data for the enhancement of my health can create a better understanding of me, treatment of me, and appropriately refer me for social and other needed services that are integral to my holistic health as a gay man from the Latin and Caribbean region.

Yet, the approach to collecting and using data differs in many countries as we are still witnessing surveillance and research in countries which still criminalize HIV non-disclosure and transmission, and as well those countries that persecute and criminalize people who use drugs, sexworkers and gender and sexual minorities.

I am using this platform to echo the calling for the ethical usage of data and technology for the upliftment and development of communities and not for the sake of further marginalization and criminalization. Importantly, communities should be at the heart of research and technology. Communities should be centered in the designing, implementation and monitoring with enough resources to leverage the support needed to effectively use those data to harness positive actions, improve quality of life and enhance human rights. We have heard time and again that the “community” is at the heart of the response. Thus, Community-Led Monitoring (CLM) should be led by the key populations themselves.

All of this will be impossible to achieve if a global mechanism for recognizing data protection and privacy of people living with HIV and key population groups is not embedded in regional and national responses for communities. Security and protection is important, especially in countries that still outlaw same-sex relationships and countries that continue to demonstrate high levels of stigma and discrimination towards PLHIV.

To collect, use and address the global HIV response through data is to put the rights of the people first.

Thank you

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