Agenda 6 – Intervention by Sonal Mehta, Asia Pacific delegate

Thank you Madam Chair.

It is not so difficult for governments sitting around this table and those who are not here in the room to understand that we will not be able to treat our way out of the HIV epidemic. Nor is it difficult to understand that we therefore need increased and emphasised focus on prevention, & primary prevention. Yet that is not happening. We need political will that results also in resources. Donors must put money in basic prevention services in condoms, for peer outreach, for working on structural barriers, for PrEP – basically in ensuring safer sex.

Resources have to come both from domestic funding and from external donors. Over the years we have seen, studied, and known that community-led programmes are not expensive, they’re more effective, and yield results beyond the planned gains. Most importantly, we need to establish a sustainable response. What is really needed is that we learn from our lessons and recommit to invest in community driven prevention programmes to reach the people who are not reached. If we do not, not only will we not be able to reach the targets of 90-90-90, but it will be ridiculous to talk about zero new infections while investing less than 25% of funding in prevention. We remind everyone in this room that all governments committed to the 2016 Political Declaration to invest a quarter of all investments in prevention. Where is the quarter for prevention?

Finally, the World got excited, and countries committed to a road-map with targets set for themselves. And yet we come here and have no feedback on the 10 countries implementing road maps. Why doesn’t the prevention paper show the performance of countries against their promises? Why does it not show how much each country commits to prevention? Without these data, there can be no clear accountability.

And there can be no clear monitoring of funding for and monitoring of support to the millions of sex workers, prisoners, transgender peoples, gay, bi, and other men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs and people living with HIV around the world. Wherever responsibility for this monitoring lies, whether with the prevention coalition or UNAIDS, without those data, this Board cannot strategically and effectively carry out its oversight and governance function.


43rd PCB

Agenda 6: Update on Prevention 2020

Delivered by Sonal Mehta, Asia-Pacific NGO

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