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Demand Political Commitment for ‘getting to zero’

Don’t stop now, finish the job!

Three children in Kenya. Their mother has TB and is receiving ARV therapy © Nell Freeman for the AllianceIn 2001 the United Nations had its first ever General Assembly Special Session on a health specific area, HIV/AIDS (UNGASS). At the 2001 and 2006 UNGASS meetings UN Member States made commitments and set goals to fight HIV/AIDS and achieve Universal Access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010.

2011 marks a pivotal year in the HIV/AIDS response because UN Member States will be gathering in New York (8-10 June 2011) at the UN High Level Meeting on AIDS (HLM) to review progress made towards Universal Access and commit to action on HIV/AIDS until 2015. It is as important now as ever that governments and civil society, including key populations, make continued commitments to ‘have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS’.

Now that the deadline for HIV prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010 has passed, it is critical that a new commitment and target date is set and the pressure is kept up to reach Universal Access and achieve MDG 6.

Ensure the 2011 Outcome Declaration protects previous commitments and the rights of key populations

At the HLM governments will sign on to a new Declaration on HIV/AIDS. This will be the document that defines what governments will do to address HIV/AIDS from now until 2015. Negotiations between governments have already started to shape the 2011 Declaration. People living with HIV, men who have sex with men, sex workers, people who inject drugs and other communities affected by the epidemic have a key role to influence what this Declaration will say and ultimately what governments promise to do.

Key messages

Full version of The International HIV/AIDS Alliance’s  key messages can be found here.

1.    Protect the 2001 and 2006 Universal Access commitments.  Member states recommit to achieving them by a new target date of 2015. A new global recommitment to HIV is critical to maintain political and financial momentum in the response.

2.    Human rights and evidence-based approaches are the foundation of the new Declaration of Commitment. Investments are needed for evidence and rights-based programmes. Many structural barriers exist that prevent scale up of universal access. There should be additional commitments to remove laws that criminalise behaviour; counter stigma, discrimination and gender-based violence; mainstream human rights into programmes.

3.    The new 2011 Declaration of Commitment continues to have a strong accountability framework and countries continue to report on an annual basis. A new Declaration of Commitment will only really be meaningful if it continues to have a strong monitoring and evaluation framework.

4.    Recognition that investment in HIV has impact on broader health outcomes. By investing strategically in greater integration of HIV into broader health issues, health and community systems strengthening and with a range of sectors including sexual reproductive health, TB-HIV services we can make faster progress towards achieving the MDGs. This integration can capitalise on the cost efficiencies, innovation and grassroots activism often found in the HIV response.

Action you and your organisation can take:

- Brief your country delegation on key messages they should include in the 2011 Declaration negotiations and bring to the HLM, especially from key populations and communities affected by HIV/AIDS. Download the full Alliance messages.

- Support civil society delegates on your country’s HLM delegation to ensure that the 2011 Declaration includes rights based commitments and language on key populations in the final document.

- Contact your ICASO regional co-ordinating organisation and see how you can share information and tactics regionally.

- Keep updated about the latest developments and highlights on the HLM and 2011 Declaration negotiations.

- Sign up your organisation to the ICASO Global Civil Society Declaration for the High Level Meeting.

- Link up with other civil society activists working on the HLM by sending an email to universalaccess2010@icaso.org to join.

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