Let Communities Lead - World AIDS Day 2023
The world can end AIDS, with communities leading the way. Organisations of communities living with, at risk of, or affected by HIV are the frontline of progress in the HIV response. Communities connect people with person-centred public health services, build trust, innovate, monitor implementation of policies and services, and hold providers accountable.
But communities are being held back in their leadership. Funding shortages, policy and regulatory hurdles, capacity constraints, and crackdowns on civil society and on the human rights of marginalised communities, are obstructing the progress of HIV prevention and treatment services. If these obstacles are removed, community-led organisations can add even greater impetus to the global HIV response, advancing progress towards the end of AIDS.
This World AIDS Day is more than a celebration of the achievements of communities; it is a call to action to enable and support communities in their leadership roles. World AIDS Day 2023 will highlight that to unleash the full potential of community leadership to enable the end of AIDS:
- Communities’ leadership roles need to be made core in all HIV plans and programmes and in their formulation, budgeting, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. “Nothing about us without us.”
- Communities’ leadership roles need to be fully and reliably funded to enable the required scale up,and be properly supported and remunerated. “Not ending AIDS is more expensive than ending it.”
- Barriers to communities’ leadership roles need to be removed. An enabling regulatory environment is needed which facilitates communities’ role in provision of HIV services, ensures civil society space, and protects the human rights of all, including of marginalised communities, to advance the global HIV response. “Remove laws that harm, create laws that empower.”
Communities are leading World AIDS Day, and across the world are shaping the events and tailoring the detailed calls to their specific needs. Through photos and videos shared by groups on social media and aggregated by UNAIDS, people will be able to witness the kaleidoscope of events taking place, be inspired by the determination and hope, and hear communities’ calls for action.
Adaptable materials for World AIDS Day will be shared on the UNAIDS special World AIDS Day page, beginning in October. To highlight the narrative continuation, the campaign materials’ colour scheme and fonts will be the same as those which were used in July in The Path That Ends AIDS. The imagery also will make use of the same design concept as used in The Path That Ends AIDS, with a shift that to highlight communities’ leadership role the angle will move from looking from above the people to looking up at them, and more face on. Materials will be tailorable by countries and communities.
Because change depends not on a moment but on a movement, the message “Let Communities Lead” will not only ring out on one day. It will be at the core of activities that will build up across November, see the release of the World AIDS Day Report – entitled Let Communities Lead – in late November, reach a crescendo on World AIDS Day on 1 December, and continue to echo throughout December and beyond.
“The end of AIDS is possible, it is within our grasp” says UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima. “To follow the path that ends AIDS, the world needs to let communities lead.”