Uniting for Universal Access in Latin America: Towards Zero New HIV Infections, Zero Discrimination and Zero AIDS-related Deaths
In March of 2011, approximately 100 individuals from 17 Latin American countries met to review progress toward the commitments made by the world’s governments in the 2000 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the 2001 United Nations Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, and the 2006 United Nations Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS, including commitments for universal access by 2015 to HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support.
This group reviewed Latin American progress and challenges in relation to governmental HIV/AIDS commitments, and crafted recommendations for action. Approximately 100 delegates came from 17 countries and were comprised of representatives of the government (primarily heads of national health programs) but including 7 Ministers (again primarily of health but also for youth), civil society (primarily representatives of regional networks), representatives of all ten co-sponsors of UNAIDS, and bilateral agencies (primarily in the form of funders and providers of technical assistance). For two days, the group met, listening to presentations, chatting in side meetings and over lunch, and then in small group sessions reviewing challenges and proposing action steps and focus issues.
The following is a summary of the meeting outcomes and recommendations. This provides a broadstroke direction for the region to help to reach the goals by 2015. This document is therein written as a synthesis of the results of that meeting and a proposal for orientation for the next five years (2011-2015).
The recommendations from this 2011 regional consultation propose the integration of vulnerable groups most at risk for HIV and other social groups such as refugees, migrants, children, women, young and drug users with development of integrated strategies in health, nutrition and education related to HIV. Achieving these synergies between the HIV response, promotion of social development, and other efforts to increase access to health, education and justice represents a unique opportunity for meeting the Universal Access commitments and Millennium Development Goals in Latin American countries.
You can read the NGO Delegates’ notes and reflections on the meeting on a previous blog post.