31st UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board Meeting
NGO Delegate for Asia and the Pacific
1.3 Report of the Executive Director (pdf)
The NGO Delegation would like to highlight its concern that the new HIV infection rates continue to rise in MENA, EECA and some countries in Asia as described in the UNAIDS World AIDS Day 2012 report. We are also concerned by the current dialogue on the Global Fund’s new funding model that could potentially impact the level of financial support leveraged to countries, especially the middle-income countries. In the HIV response to date, we know very well how a lack of political will fuels the HIV epidemic: for example, in EECA that without the GF resources to support essential HIV prevention interventions for people who inject drugs, some governments in the region are reluctant to fill in the funding gaps for these services.
UNAIDS must do more to accelerate the relatively slow progress on HIV treatment access coverage, particularly in middle-income countries. With the current trajectory, the IMF indicates that in 2020, 83% of PLHIV will live in the high and middle-income countries and only 17% in the Least Development Countries. Currently, in middle income countries, less than one-third of those who need treatment have access to life-saving drugs and many more still are unable to afford the second or third line ARVs. We also recognize, however, the complexity of issues related to access to medicines for these countries such as exclusion from voluntary licenses and the inability to fully exploit TRIPS flexibilities due to trade-related barriers and negotiations.
We would like UNAIDS to be more active in supporting countries to understand these complex issues and to advocate at the key global institutions, such as the Global Fund, so that countries are not divided based on GDP or any economic scale in the context of access, as the poorest and most marginalised in societies everywhere are more likely to be living with HIV and have less access to health services they need.
The NGO Delegation also urges UNAIDS to collaborate with civil society, other UN-agencies (UNDP and WHO in particular), UNITAID and GFATM to develop a clear strategy to address the issues related to inequality in access to and sustainability of HIV treatment and treatment for co-infections in middle-income countries.
The NGO Delegation is appreciative of Michel’s commitment in collaborating with a new generation of leaders in the AIDS response and would like to congratulate the UNAIDS Secretariat on the successful outcome of an 11 month-long policy project, CrowdOutAIDS. The policy recommendations contained in the report recognize the immense need of providing adequate skills and opportunities for young people in order to exert their leadership and their full participation in the AIDS response and to improve access to HIV-related information, treatment, prevention, care and support services and to resources and strategic network support.
Moving forward, we strongly urge the UNAIDS Secretariat to translate these recommendations into specific actions taking into account the existing programmatic work of UN Cosponsors, technical partners and youth-led, youth-serving organizations working with adolescents, young people, particularly young girls, and those from key affected populations or/and living with HIV, as well as taking into account the context of the Post-2015 development agenda.