48th PCB - Intervention by Violeta Ross - Agenda item 8: Follow up to the Thematic Segment from the 47th PCB meeting Cervical cancer and HIV – addressing linkages and common inequalities to save women’s lives

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

Cervical cancer is an issue of inequality and we WOMEN, LIVING WITH HIV IN ALL OUR DIVERSITY, we know about inequalities. The NGO Delegation welcomes the report of the 47th PCB Thematic Segment which we find comprehensive. As we move on the discussion for the decision points, we want to reflect in four ideas.

  1. MAKE IT ACCESSIBLE: make the HPV vaccination programs accessible for us. We mean accessible in terms of integrated programs that respond to our sexual and reproductive health and rights in a timely manner. Accessible also means affordable as HPV prices are still prohibitive for many countries including the middle income countries. This is a call for UNITAID, the Medicines Patent Pool and the Global Fund, entities that are doing something but need to do more.
  2. MAKE IT REAL: the discussion of cervical cancer and HIV in women cannot only be a PCB thematic segment. It has to be translated in political will and budgets from international donors and from member states. Demonstrate that you really care for our lives. This is a call for member states and donor agencies.
  3. MAKE IT RELEVANT: an overly medicalized response will not solve the intersection of cervical cancer and HIV. We have to work in the reduction of gender, socio-economic and structural inequalities and address health disparities that underlie the vulnerability of girls and women, including from key populations and in high risk settings, to both HIV and cervical cancer. This is a call for the Joint Program and all stakeholders.
  4. MAKE IT OURS: support us for being part of the response. Put women at the center of programs. Strengthen our capacities and acknowledge our role as partners to address the inter linkages between HIV and cervical cancer and you will see an outcome in demand creation and community mobilization. This will not happen out of goodwill, we need investments for community led and WOMEN LED INITIATIVES to respond to the intersections of cervical cancer and HIV.

Let´s not allow other women or girls to have HIV medications just to die with cervical cancer! This is a call for all of us.

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