40th UNAIDS PCB MEETING
Agenda 9: HIV Prevention 2020: A Global Partnership for delivery
To be delivered by Alessandra Nilo, LAC delegate
Thank you, Chair.
Today, as we engage in important discussions on the topic of “Global Partnerships,” I raise my voice to ask the question, “where is our partnership with the Venezuelan people?” The political and economic crisis in Venezuela should not be treated as a topic alien to us. The images of starvation, violence, oppression and death remind us that the situation in Venezuela is also a serious human rights and humanitarian crisis.
After 30 years of significant gains in the fight against HIV, Venezuela finds itself in a public health crisis as it runs low on HIV essentials. Antiretrovirals, vaccines, surgical and basic medical supplies including reagents for diagnostics are at critical levels throughout the entire country. These shortages are directly affecting the 77,000 persons living with HIV who suffer from frequent interruptions of antiretroviral treatment and face the permanent shortage of diagnostics for CD4 and viral load. Local NGOs and community groups are informing us that thousands are currently living without their medications already. The 90-90-90’s are quickly slipping out of the hands of a people that are struggling to address the 0-0-0’s of their basic needs such as food, water, shelter and security.
As Venezuela is currently ineligible for Global Fund support, a call is made to all global partners to become engaged and respond to the crisis by telling the story of Venezuela from a humanitarian perspective and not a political one. This call is for all global partners to find bold ways of reaching those in need by rising above the political barriers and forging effective partnership. We call for a strengthened UNAIDS office in Venezuela to work with civil society and communities.
As great investments are being made to accelerate efforts to end the HIV epidemic, we cannot and should not ignore the plight of those countries that are regressing due to political and economic challenges. We must reflect on the following “How will we claim global success in 2030, if countries such as Venezuela will be struggling with the effects of a resurging epidemic?” Have we done enough and what will be the cost of our inaction today.
#TheUNAIDSWeNeed and deserve is a UNAIDS that does not lose sight of the human factor of HIV, it is a UNAIDS that exemplifies the core values of global partnership and responsibility.