46th PCB - Agenda item 5: Progress report on establishment of the multi stakeholder task team on community-led AIDS responses - Written Statement by Violeta Ross, Latin America and the Caribbean, on behalf of the PCB NGO Delegation

46th UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board

The NGO Delegation has been following the need to include and appropriately fund community led responses since many years ago. This is why we asked for a formal discussion on the PCB which happened in 2018, and as a board, we agreed on the process.

In the document for this PCB, we note some important omissions: for example, migrant and mobile populations, these are community-led organizations and networks, which continue to be excluded in dialogues on the issue. There is no evidence that their voices were captured anywhere in the documents to inform discussions or in the indicators that are being piloted in Global Reporting Mechanism (GAM) and in the National AIDS Spending Assessment (NASA).

The risk of reopening the definition of communities can produce a huge delay in implementation, delay we cannot afford at this time. Meanwhile, we communities living with HIV and communities of key populations around the world, we continue to face legal, administrative and financial barriers that limit or make it impossible for us to register and get funding, even more in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In time of the COVID-19 crisis, we have seen around the world how communities are leading responses. Be it because of the huge diversions of care in public health systems or due to the added needs like poverty and lack of care in public hospitals, it is us, communities the ones leading the response. I give you the example of REDTRASEX, a regional network of female sex workers, which in three months of quarantine mobilized 10,000 food supply baskets for sex workers in 11 countries. Me too in Bolivia, had to mobilize food support and medications for people with HIV in the rural areas.

These are just two examples of how communities are leading the response. We are here, we are ready to work in the Task Team on Community-led responses; we need it to start urgently and quickly.


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