Thank you Madam Chair,
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are being reminded that Ending AIDS by 2030 as a public health threat is a Sustainable Development Goal and as such, bringing the epidemic under control is a prerequisite for the long-term sustainability of AIDS response results.
This is a wake up call. Complacency will carry a heavy price. If new HIV infections are not drastically reduced soon, the medium- to long-term costs will keep rising as the number of people requiring antiretroviral therapy increases. Complacency about the need to accelerate equitable AIDS responses will lead to increased health spending pressures on every one of us, as people, communities, governments, funders, to name but a few.
The funding trends mask troubling inequalities. Marginalized people, adolescent young women and girls, and communities are being left behind because of inadequate financing for programmes that focus on key populations and on adolescent girls and women. In many countries, and in all regions, the programmes that do exist––particularly those focused on key populations and women––are heavily reliant on external assistance, funding which is decreasing.
Yesterday in the ED’s report, we were reminded of the population hot spots and regions left behind. Ladies and gentlemen, transitions from international assistance in some Eastern European, Central Asian and Caribbean countries badly compromised their AIDS responses amongst people who inject drugs, sex workers, women, youth and people on the move. AIDS remains the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age and the leading cause of death of adolescents in Africa — including among young people, a rapidly expanding demographic.
This is so because there is inadequate funding for interventions that meet our emerging needs, as funding for such interventions is always sourced externally. The principle of shared responsibility implies donors should continue to share responsibility for financing HIV programmes, including those led by communities, where they are not locally affordable. We also need the promised funds for advocacy work.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have to re-echo that, poorly planned and executed donor transitions heavily affects us as people and communities, resulting into service disruption. The global community will fail to fulfill the SDG goal of “leaving no-one behind”, if key populations are not reached with HIV, health and social programmes that are grounded in human rights
Reviewing and reforming age of consent laws, using community-led testing and self-testing approaches; providing differentiated, youth-friendly services and psychosocial support are among many feasible improvements.
The people-centred and human rights-based approaches demanded by us, as communities should be the hallmark of the AIDS response. As civil society we should be increasingly supported to participate and lead in the planning, implementation, and monitoring of these transition and sustainability processes, as well as development of investment cases.
As communities and organizations of people living with HIV, we should drive the reshaping of the sustainability agenda for we know what, when, where and when it works.
Delivered by Musah Lumumbah, Africa NGO
Tags: 43rd PCB Meeting