Thank you Chair.
We welcome the report of the Executive Director, ladies and gentlemen, which is warning us, as countries and communities, with a stark wake up call.
The report notes that progress in the HIV response is slowing and that time is running out to reach the fast track targets.
A stone’s throw away to the year 2020, the report, Miles to Go—closing gaps, breaking barriers, righting injustices’ , that was released at AIDS 2018, further warns that the pace of progress is not matching global ambition. We are collectively therefore, being called upon to take immediate action.
For instance, if we take stock of 90-90-90 targets, we note that there are huge disparities between different locations and populations. Even though the world embraced the ambitious vision of Zero new HIV Infections, Zero AIDS- related deaths and Zero discrimination, in 49 countries, new HIV infections are going up, 40 years into the epidemic.
Worse still, 15 million people living with HIV still do not have access to treatment. Unacceptably, we are still witnessing human rights violations, growing inequality, fear, prejudice, criminalization, stigma and discrimination including in healthcare and educational settings, which serve to not only disenfranchise people, but also push us to margins of society.
Chair, there is an urgent need to pay attention to geographic “hotspots” and populations who are at greater risk of HIV infection wherever they are. Entire regions like West and Central Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, East and Southern Africa, Latin American and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific are falling behind. The huge gains we made for children are not being sustained, adolescent girls and young women, young people are still most affected. Resources are still not matching political commitments including for a community led response, social enablers and HIV prevention. PLHIV in their diversity –young, old and Key populations continue to be ignored; yet they contribute to 47% of all new HIV infections.
All these elements are halting progress and urgently need to be addressed head-on.
We are happy to hear and we should congratulate ourselves that, Six countries––Botswana, Cambodia, Denmark, Eswatini, Namibia and the Netherlands– –have already reached the 90-90-90 targets and seven more countries are on-track to do the same. However, are the key populations also being celebrated in these results, or, they are the 10/101/10 that are yet to be reached??
With this reality in addition to experiences across our communities; there is need for;
Agenda item 1.3 Report of the Executive DirectorDelivered by Musah Lumumbah, NGO Africa
Tags: 43rd PCB Meeting