Delivered by Violeta Ross, Latin America and the Caribbean Delegate, on behalf of the NGO Delegation
We are having a dialogue on HIV funding but we are not just anybody, we are the Joint United Program for HIV/AIDS-UNAIDS, the global body for HIV policy making. Nevertheless, we also need to be reminded of what this dialogue means in the real world and this is my reflection for today and especially how this dialogue becomes real for us people living with HIV and for key populations groups.
These days I visited different cities in Bolivia, some more rural than others. I had several meetings to explain the content of national and municipal HIV laws and asked the specific question of how much budget lines for HIV have these laws produced or not.
My learning from these last months is that an HIV law or a policy can only be as a good as its budget line. A budget line is the only way of making this sustainable, accountable and traceable.
The dialogue we are having now, can remain as another zoom meeting unless we make it real with budgets and I mean budgets for the regional and national HIV responses too, we need something concrete that communities can use and implement.
Even more in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, HIV continues to be sent to the oblivion (the land to forget).
As the Joint Program, we have the responsibility to put HIV back in the global development agenda, but not only with speeches in the World AIDS Day, but with budgets. Every World AIDS Day, local health authorities in Bolivia make campaigns of solidarity and speak about condom use, we people with HIV continue to ask the question: How much HIV budget have you planned for next year? And that is the same question I ask all of us.
And please, allow me to remind all of us of the call of the NGO Delegation: