Get ‘on track’ with ‘fast track’ to prevent HIV

UNAIDS and the Alliance have produced an advocacy tool to support community-led organisations make the case for greater investment in HIV combination prevention at national, district and local levels.

The context is urgent. In less than 100 days, the 2016 United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS will take place in New York (6-10 June). The Outcome Document which will be agreed by governments will be of critical importance to accelerate the response to HIV over the next five years, and set the world on course to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

The time to act is now

Yet in the heart of our communities, among those people for whom life with HIV is their daily reality, the end of AIDS is still a distant hope. Whilst bold international targets have been set, meeting them requires a rapid acceleration in treatment and prevention programmes, rooted in human rights and gender equality and centred on people living with or affected by HIV.

Sadly, the numbers are not yet adding up. Despite an increasing array of prevention tools in recent years, there has only been a slow decline in new adult HIV infections. Progress in combating HIV has been very uneven. Young women in eastern and southern Africa continue to be highly vulnerable to HIV and across the world key populations have been inadequately reached by programmes to prevent and treat HIV. These gaps need to be acknowledged and urgently addressed.

According to Matteo Cassolato, the Alliance’s senior advisor on HIV prevention “We do not under-estimate how difficult it is for civil society to advocate for key population prevention programmes in countries where there is little to no political commitment and a lack of adequate financial resources.  But with the right information and clearer, evidence-based strategies, national governments can be pushed harder and community-led organisations can well placed to monitor how well they are doing.”

About the brief

That’s why we have collaborated with UNAIDS to produce a new brief to support community-led organisations advocate for combination HIV prevention and shape their country’s HIV programmes.

Advancing combination prevention follows on from the 2015 UNAIDS reference paper, Fast Tracking Combination Prevention.

It covers why it is important to act now, why a combination prevention approach is so vital, and gives the ‘A-B-C’ of what countries need to do – from calling on prevention programmes to be grounded in evidence, to advocating for national plans to achieve scale and coverage, and finally, demanding funds for HIV prevention, including for community-led responses. 

Four community-led case studies are included – focused on harm reduction in Kenya, work with girls and young women in Uganda, improving health services for MSM in Paraguay, and prevention among sex workers in India.

The brief is available to download and printed copies will be distributed at civil society led events over the coming months. This will ensure community-led organisations are in a position to hold governments to account following the commitments they make at the High-Level Meeting in June. 

Join the campaign

The new brief amplifies the UNAIDS campaign - Quarter for HIV Prevention (#quarter4HIVprevention) - which aims to recapture imagination and hope for HIV prevention. It calls for countries to examine how much they invest in HIV prevention. You can join the conversation on social media.

FACEBOOK: A Quarter for HIV Prevention Facebook Group

TWITTER: @QtrPrevention  #Qtr4HIVprevention

Our advocacy efforts at the UN High-Level Meeting on AIDS in June are supported through a new strategic partnership, between Aids Fonds/STOP AIDS NOW!, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs who will work towards ending the AIDS epidemic in countries that are most affected by HIV. Together with local civil society organisations we will change policies and build institutional capacity to lobby and advocate beyond the 5-year life-cycle of the programme.