March Special Session - Intervention by Violeta Ross - Agenda Item 3: Global AIDS Strategy

Delivered by Violeta Ross, Latin America and the Caribbean Delegate, on behalf of the NGO Delegation

The moment we are living

The NGO Delegation as a team, participated in the meetings that led to the development of the Global AIDS Strategy; we consulted our constituencies and collected their input.

Given the context of CRISIS IN HEALTH that we are living, the NGO Delegation thinks the full and fast adoption of the Strategy is of paramount importance. As we continue to discuss the Strategy in the PCB, we people living with HIV and affected communities, continue to see newly diagnosed young men, women and transgender women. Here on the ground, every day we see how discrimination and stigma are exacerbated with the COVID-19 pandemic; increasing social and health inequalities, with fatal individual and colective development results. Budgets for health are more limited than ever. Testing for HIV and timely treatment has been suspended and communication campaigns have been forgotten. HIV medications were delayed as well as comprehensive care for migrants and people who experience gender based violence . People with HIV are still dying in our countries. Many governments are focusing on the emergency response only and thus, postponing basic comprehensive healthcare and HIV prevention services. I experienced this myself and saw it in many other countries and regions; affecting entire communities and mainly, key and at risk populations.

But this crisis is an OPPORTUNITY only if we use this moment. If there was ever one moment in health history in which governments need more guidance, principles and a unified action framework for HIV, is THIS MOMENT. The cost of not adopting the Global AIDS Strategy in this particular time of history will have an even far worse impact in communities that are living with HIV and are exposed to it. Providing guidance and a unified action framework is precisely the role of the Joint Program. We, the PCB, must be accountable to our constituents and that includes taking important decisions in a timely manner; we must contribute to the guarantee of the right to health for all


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