There is a crisis in the HIV response. Over the last five years, the world has failed to meet any of the targets for prevention, diagnosis and treatment set out in the 2016 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS, with progress on HIV prevention lagging particularly far behind. The 2021 high-level meeting on HIV/AIDS – and the Political Declaration that results from it – is the last chance to create sustained momentum for the policies, programmes and funding that are needed to end HIV as a global health threat by 2030.
Now more than ever, evidence-based responses and renewed political will are called for –especially in face of the additional burdens imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. In order to focus efforts and resources where they are most needed, we call for a Political Declaration that:
RECOGNIZES explicitly who is most at risk of HIV
ACKNOWLEDGES why this is so
COMMITS to fully fund and support effective responses
HOLDS ACCOUNTABLE Member States for their actions
Estimates from UNAIDS affirm beyond any doubt which population groups are at greatest risk of acquiring HIV, with the latest data indicating that in 2019, key populations and their partners accounted for 62% of new HIV infections. If Member States are serious about ending the epidemic by 2030, they must recognize these populations explicitly. Inequity that is not recognized cannot be solved.
We call for the Political Declaration to name each of the key populations: sex workers, gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, transgender people, people who use drugs, and people in prison and other closed settings. We call for the Declaration to name also those at risk of HIV because they are in situations of vulnerability: women, children and adolescents, especially adolescent girls and young women in all their diversity, as well as indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, and migrants, particularly those with irregular migration status, and people in conflict zones and humanitarian settings.