Update on the AIDS Response in the Post-2015 Development Agenda
Joint statement delivered by Caritas Internationalis on behalf of Association Community Pope John XXIII, Caritas Australia, Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, Edmund Rice International, International Association of Charities, International Catholic Child Bureau, Medical Mission Institute, and Trócaire.
The co-signatories believe that the AIDS response in the Post-2015 Development Agenda needs to aim toward completion of the positive results already attained through such public health interventions as development of more effective testing and treatment and universal access for all in need. Complete change in focus and priorities should be avoided or we risk additional outbreaks of generalized epidemics of life-threatening infectious diseases such as HIV. The international community also should promote an integral system of care that prioritizes community-based primary care, and includes prevention of vertical transmission as well as treatment, in particular for HIV-positive children, children living with HIV/TB co-infection, and their mothers. Such care also should be holistic in focus, attending to the needs of the whole person, including physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Of particular concern in this regard is the situation of HIV-positive children, and children living with HIV/TB co-infection. Despite evidence that treatment is very successful in such children, even in resource-limited settings, there remain significant obstacles to expansion of ART access for children living with HIV. For children living with both HIV and tuberculosis (TB), the situation is even worse: despite the fact that TB remains the main cause of death among children with AIDS, paediatric drug formulations are not available to treat HIV/TB co-infection in children. The Post-2015 Agenda should take into account and aim toward positive policies and practical actions to eliminate the negative social, economic, and political determinants of poor health, including poverty, poor quality education, insufficient or improper nutrition, conflict and violence, in order to assure quality of life and living conditions that promote and assure health for all. Furthermore, Caritas Internationalis and the other co-signatories point out the need for the Post-2015 Development Agenda to acknowledge and support the key role of civil society and, in particular, of faith-based organizations, in addressing the health needs of isolated populations, of those living in “Failed States”, of those affected by generalized violence and long-term emergencies, and aim to ensure adequate resources to non-State actors engaged in health care in places that are not reached by the public health system.