Earlier this year, HelpAge International, Terrence Higgins Trust and AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA) spearheaded the writing of a letter to UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé, to highlight their concerns over the omission of data on those aged 50 and older in the 2012 UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic.
In support of this initiative, the NGO Delegation sent its own letter to Mr. Sidibé and Dr. Luiz Loures, Deputy Executive Director of Programme. The full letter is below.
Dear Mr. Sidibé and Dr. Loures:
As the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board NGO Delegation, we are writing in support of a letter sent to you by members of civil society that calls on UNAIDS to collect and report better data regarding those age 50 and older who are living with HIV and to stimulate new research efforts examining the treatment, care and support needs of this growing population.
We join our colleagues in suggesting the following concrete steps that UNAIDS should take in order to adequately account for this population’s unique needs:
1. Generate improved estimates of people aged 50 and over with HIV in line with the UNAIDS Reference Group on Estimates, Modelling and Projections agreement, and include these estimates in the UNAIDS report for the General Assembly in September and annual World AIDS Day report.
2. Discuss at the next meeting of the newly re-formed MERG how to take forward the 2010-11 UNGASS indicator review process recommendation on expanding the age brackets of GARPR indicators and the similar recommendations of the UNAIDS Reference Group on Estimates, Modelling and Projections from September 2012.
3. Review and clarify the division of labour between WHO and UNAIDS on physical care, including the neglected issues of the links between non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and HIV, palliative care and the ageing of HIV.
4. Develop targeted prevention messages and interventions aimed at older adults.
We believe that these steps will result in significant progress in addressing the needs of people over 50 living with HIV and AIDS and welcome any further discussion that may be taken at a future meeting of the Programme Coordinating Board. Thank you very much for your consideration.
The UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board NGO Delegation
Dr. Mabel Bianco, Fundación para Estudio e Investigación de la Mujer (FEIM)
Ms. Jane Bruning, Positive Women Incorporated / Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (APN+)
Ms. Ebony Johnson, International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW)
Mr. Charles King, Housing Works Inc.
Mr. Joel Gustave Nana, African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHeR)
Ms. Alessandra Nilo, Gestos – HIV+, Communication and Gender
Ms. Dasha Ocheret, Eurasian Harm Reduction Network
Mr. Manoj Pardeshi, International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC)
Ms. Nadia Rafif, Association de Lutte Contre le Sida (ALCS)
Mr. Bryan Teixeira, European AIDS Treatment Group