For Salud por Derecho the goal of all persons accessing basic health and the need to create and sustain necessary health care services within a bolstered, solid national health system is compatible with continuing to consider HIV/AIDS as a priority, exceptional public health issue on a worldwide scale and wherever pertinent.
HIV/AIDS is the first cause of mortality in women of reproductive age. In many countries, the epidemic is responsible for extremely low life expectancy rates and changes in social and demographic structures. And in many other countries the epidemic has become so concentrated and has reached such alarmingly high rates among certain population groups that it has become indispensable to implement specific, urgent and exceptional actions. Unquestionably, in all of these countries, the fight against AIDS must be a priority in any national health strategy. However, even in countries and communities where HIV/AIDS statistics are alarming and where AIDS changes everything, the epidemic coexists with other diseases and health problems that also cause suffering and premature deaths and that should therefore be addressed on a priority basis.
Beyond the deaths and incapacity caused around the globe on a level comparable to that of other diseases and health problems, the lack of a cure, the stigma and discrimination involved, the lack of a preventive vaccine, and the fact that treatment is lifelong, together with the high cost of new medication and external dependency on the part of many poor countries in order to defray the cost of treatment, make HIV/AIDS exceptional. HIV/AIDS must maintain its exceptional status worldwide so that the achievements that have been made so far can be furthered and to so that both the short and long term challenges that the pandemic poses can be faced. This includes:
- Sufficient investment, as well as R&D models and policies that enable an effective, accessible, preventive vaccine to be made available as soon as possible.
- The implementation of effective policies and legal instruments to preserve the rights of persons living with HIV/AIDS and of especially vulnerable segments of the population.
- A drastic reduction in the cost of new treatments and a framework of global responsibility enabling the financial burden of the cost of HIV/AIDS treatment to be shared, since both furthering and maintaining lifelong treatment of millions of persons is indispensable until an effective vaccine is developed.
- The definition, in the first instance, of an equitable, dynamic framework for allocating financing for responding to AIDS among donor and recipient countries, as well as the implementation of a financing model for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria which is not voluntary but rather based on donors’ economic capacity.
In the long term, a universal health insurance together with a significant reduction in the price of antiretroviral medication and an effective and affordable AIDS vaccine could be the solution that would curtail the pandemic and lead to overcoming its causes and effects.
- Declaration of commitment on HIV/AIDS, 2001
- General Assembly Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS 2006
- The Global Aids Epidemic in 2009
- Financing the Response to AIDS in Low-and Middle-Income Countries: International Assistance from the G8, European Commission and Other Donor Governments in 2009
- The Global Fund in 2010. Progress Report Summary
- Punishing success? Early Signs of a Retreat from Commitment to HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment, MSF November 2009