Agenda 1.3 . Report of the Executive Director
Delivered by Marsha A. Martin, NGO North America
Thank you Honorable Chair and congratulations to Ghana for your adoption of the treat all strategy to achieve 90-90-90. And thank you Michel, for your thoughtful and thorough update on the global program of UNAIDS and the overview of where we are today in the global AIDS response. As you have stated in your remarks today, “But even with all this progress, AIDS is not yet over.” 16 million need treatment—67% of infections in 15-24 year olds are among adolescent girls and young women–1 in 5 people living with HIV report having faced discrimination in health care settings and so forth which leads me to borrow from the theme for the 17th ICASA—Ending AIDS—Doing differently.
Colleagues, doing business as usual is not enough. As Michel reminds us, we cannot, must not, be complacent. If we are going to identify, reach, address, serve and treat all those living with HIV and at risk of HIV infection, we need an approach that demonstrates that we are listening and prepared to ‘do differently’. We must no longer just take note of the problem, discuss it, call for a new study, and go on to the next item on the agenda. We cannot just report out the data from our new study, and talk about those not included in the response as though that is an intervention We need to stop. We join Michel in calling for a new strategic framework for assessing and responding to the statement – AIDS is not yet over, for those not yet reached. We cannot be complacent. The UNAIDS we need will closely examine the data concerning all those included in the phrase—AIDS is not yet over—and will work with the most affected communities, member states, cosponsors, and CSO/NGOs to chart a more affective and impactful course for addressing the gaps and needs.
We, in the NGO delegation, join you in calling for full implementation of the Fast Track strategy to end AIDS. We believe that we need a road map for the last miles, for the communities left out on the side of the road, for those who might be on the bus, have no idea where we are going, and appear to be taken along for the ride. We need a few new mile markers that will help all of us to not lose our way while simply focusing on the middle three 90-90-90, and on achieving all, none, or some, of the three 0’s.
To that end, we are asking consideration for a first and fifth 90. We would like to suggest that it is time to include a first 90-90% of all those at risk for infection, and all those who are on the outside of the AIDS response—imagine capturing 90% of all those at risk for HIV — with information about HIV, guaranteed access to health care and comprehensive sexual health services, human rights protections including their sexual and reproductive rights and freedom of movement—how much closer to the end of HIV would we be, the world over. What if the health sector could offer a robust program of comprehensive combination prevention designed to reach and serve all populations comprising the first 90? And that is why our NGO Report is focused on leaving no one behind.
And we would like to suggest a fifth 90. We must work together to ensure 90% of those living with HIV experience a satisfactory quality of life and social well-being. We would like to suggest that the UNAIDS we need must be prepared to assist with the fifth 90% — by addressing quality of life, social and mental health and well-being of those living with HIV.
We believe if we commit to doing things differently, we can successfully address the first and fifth 90. We are asking ALL, ourselves included, to stop doing business as usual, and to start doing our collective business differently to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.