40th PCB MEETING
Agenda Item 9: HIV Prevention 2020: A Global Partnership for Delivery
To be delivered by: Marsha A. Martin, NA Delegate
Thank you Mr Chair,
We, the NGO delegation, welcome the establishment of the Global Coalition for HIV Prevention and invite UNAIDS to draft the Coalition’s agenda in partnership with communities and Civil Society Organizations. There is urgent need to work collectively on a global level to prioritize and target HIV prevention efforts both on structural levels with a location focus. There is also an urgent mandate to address a number of social and structural determinants, community and economic challenges, such as disproportionate exposure to violence, lack of access to health care, unyielding discrimination, stigma, racism, homophobia, transphobia and poverty, to name a few.
I want to share an important challenge today: Recently while speaking with a group of young men in the US about HIV prevention, I was saddened by their despair as expressed in statements like: HIV is,
“part of the party”
“just a matter of time” before I become infected
“making me afraid to go out” and meet people
“easier to get it over with.”
Colleagues and friends, we have missed the boat in prevention if those at risk believe HIV infection is an inevitability. We have proven and effective tools to prevent HIV infection. The question is, do we have the will. HIV infection should never be thought of as an inevitability. We, the NGO Delegation, invite the new Global Coalition to draft an agenda that is inclusive of the needs of all those at risk and to consider today’s landscape, and the complex and complicated challenges it presents.
We are learning we cannot treat ourselves out of this epidemic, prevention is key.