The Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) welcomes the adoption of the Global AIDS strategy 2021 – 2026 by the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) and commits to working together with all global health actors to achieve the goal of ending AIDS by 2030.
GNP+ applauds the outstanding consultative work done by UNAIDS and all stakeholders in developing this strategy. Our network members have participated at many points in the process and we feel heard in the new strategy. The greater and meaningful involvement of people living with HIV is central to improving the quality of our lives, and we are pleased to see our voices and advocacy efforts acknowledged.
Jacquelyne Alesi, Board Chair, GNP+, says “These are not easy times – many of our communities are dealing with the impact of multiple challenges of COVID-19, loss of jobs, hunger, humanitarian and environmental crisis. Even as governments focus on these challenges, we must not allow them to back track on the progress made on HIV and TB. This past year has reminded us once again of the human cost of inaction”.
The focus on having all our communities – key populations, children, young people, adolescent girls and women – as allies and partners is extremely important to us. And most of all we strongly endorse the focus on addressing inequalities in order to end AIDS. However, this will not be easy and will require the resources and bold action by governments, the UN system, communities working collaboratively.
We all know the right to health is inextricably linked to other human rights. People who experience stigma and discrimination because of any part of their identity – their race, their gender identity, their sexual orientation or if they do sex work or if they use drugs – cannot access treatment and prevention services precisely for reasons of discrimination on these grounds.
At GNP+ we strongly believe that the response to a 40-year old HIV epidemic needs to be guided by proven community-led, people centred approaches that dismantle the inequalities in our societies.
As global health leaders engage and work towards the UN High Level Meeting (HLM) on AIDS in June, GNP+ calls for a stronger commitment from governments, donors and other stakeholders to invest in actions to back this strategy. We also call for a bold accountability framework so that communities of people living with HIV and key populations can monitor and evaluate the impact of this strategy on their lives.