- The NOBODY campaign denounces the lack of funding for the fight against the pandemic and warns about the exit of international aid in middle-income countries, where more than half of people with HIV live.
- The most vulnerable populations and civil society organizations are the most affected by the decrease of funds.
- Promoted by Salud por Derecho and supported by organizations from all over the world, especially from Latin America and the Caribbean, the campaign asks to governments and donors for a series of measures to fulfill their role in the fight against the pandemic.
Madrid / Panama, May 21, 2017 – Despite the commitment signed in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to end the HIV pandemic by 2030 and leave no one behind, governments around the world are forgetting millions of people due to their discriminatory laws, their domestic health policies or their international cooperation programs.
The NOBODY campaign, promoted by Salud por Derecho with the support of organizations from all over the world -especially from Latin America and the Caribbean-, warns, in a report, about the decrease or withdrawal of international aid from middle income countries, where more than 60% of people with HIV live, and about the lack of political will of many governments to protect the human rights of those most affected by the pandemic.
With global funding at the lowest level since 2010, donor countries and international funding agencies focus their priorities on the lowest income countries, under the premise that middle-income countries can cover the fight against AIDS with their own resources. These decisions, based on purely economic criteria, do not take into account determining factors such as the technical capacity or political will of governments to allocate adequate resources and policies in the response to AIDS, nor the political and legislative situation of the most vulnerable populations.
This problem already affects regions with a majority of middle-income countries such as Eastern Europe and Central Asia (where new infections increased by 60% between 2010 and 2015, coinciding with the withdrawal of international funds) and now it threatens Latin America and the Caribbean, the fourth area of the world most affected by the virus with more than two million people living with HIV. In fact, new infections among adults, after a decrease of 20% in the previous decade, grew by 3% in Latin America and 9% in the Caribbean area between 2010 and 2015. Only in Panama, new HIV infections have increased by 20% and deaths related to AIDS by 9% since 2010.
The populations most affected by HIV in Latin America and the Caribbean are men who have sex with other men, transgender people, sex workers, injecting drug users, the inmate population or indigenous peoples, who have a 10-50 times greater risk of HIV infection than other adults globally. In the region, during 2014, these key populations and their sexual partners represented more than two thirds of new infections.
These groups suffer, in many countries, a serious violation of their human rights. Stigma, discrimination and lack of legislation (or the lack of its application) that protects their rights, cause an added vulnerability that hinders their access to prevention and treatment programs. In Latin America, although these populations have the greatest burden of disease, they only account for 2% of government investment in prevention.
In this way, most prevention and support programs depend on international aid that is now beginning to disappear. In Belize, for example, almost 90% of the investment in prevention during 2014 came from external funds. The end of these resources and the lack of commitment of the governments to cover the gaps, put in danger the activities and the survival of many civil society organizations which also carry out the legislative work to defend the human rights of these populations.
For this reason, the NOBODY campaign asks the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean for an increase in health budgets and the fight against AIDS budget, especially those aimed at key populations; greater support for civil society organizations so that they can continue to develop their work of prevention and assistance to the most vulnerable populations; and legislation that protects the human rights of its citizens, eliminating stigma and criminalization, and guaranteeing all people access to health and medicines.
On the other hand, the campaign asks donor countries and international funding bodies, as the Global Fund, to support civil society as a fundamental axis of the response and that the exit processes of the countries are accompanied by responsible transitions, ensuring that governments will assume their responsibility and will fulfill the human rights of their entire population, especially those of the most vulnerable populations living with HIV.
The campaign, supported by more than 40 organizations, has been launched in Panama and will soon reach countries in the region such as Belize or Paraguay, which are beginning to suffer the consequences of this problem. With the idea of continuing to add support during the coming months, the NOBODY campaign aims to ensure that everyone fulfills their role in the fight against AIDS: if governments disappear, if donors disappear, if civil society disappears, we will not be able to end AIDS. It is a responsibility shared by all: nobody can disappear.
‘Nobody can disappear’ materials