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World AIDS Day 2019

COMMUNITIES MAKE THE DIFFERENCE

 

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Communities make the difference".

The commemoration of World AIDS Day, which will take place on 1 December 2019, is an important opportunity to recognize the essential role that communities have played and continue to play in the AIDS response at the international, national and local levels.

Communities contribute to the AIDS response in many different ways. Their leadership and advocacy ensure that the response remains relevant and grounded, keeping people at the centre and leaving no one behind. Communities include peer educators, networks of people living with or affected by HIV, such as gay men and other men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs and sex workers, women and young people, counsellors, community health workers, door-to-door service providers, civil society organizations and grass-roots activists.

World AIDS Day offers an important platform to highlight the role of communities at a time when reduced funding and a shrinking space for civil society are putting the sustainability of services and advocacy efforts in jeopardy. Greater mobilization of communities is urgently required to address the barriers that stop communities delivering services, including restrictions on registration and an absence of social contracting modalities. The strong advocacy role played by communities is needed more than ever to ensure that AIDS remains on the political agenda, that human rights are respected and that decision-makers and implementers are held accountable.

https://www.unaids.org/en/resources/campaigns/WAD_2019

 

UN Secretary-General's Message for 2019

Ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030, as we committed to in the Sustainable Development Goals, will require a continuous collaborative effort. The United Nations, Governments, civil society and other partners have been working together to scale up access to health services and to halt new HIV infections. More than 23 million people living with HIV were receiving treatment in 2018.

Communities around the world are at the heart of this response―helping people to claim their rights, promoting access to stigma-free health and social services, ensuring that services reach the most vulnerable and marginalized, and pressing to change laws that discriminate.  As the theme of this year’s observance rightly highlights, communities make the difference.

Yet unmet needs remain. A record 38 million people are living with HIV, and resources for the response to the epidemic declined by $1 billion last year. More than ever we need to harness the role of community-led organizations that advocate for their peers, deliver HIV services, defend human rights and provide support.

Where communities are engaged, we see change happen. We see investment lead to results. And we see equality, respect and dignity.

With communities, we can end AIDS.

António Guterres

https://www.un.org/en/observances/world-aids-day/messages

 

PRESS STATEMENT

World AIDS Day 2019 message from UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima

1 December 2019

I believe in communities.

Communities make change happen.

Communities are the best hope for ending AIDS because communities have fought against HIV right from the beginning!

As the epidemic raged through our countries, cities, villages, women held communities together and bore the higher burden of care for their families.

For far too long we have taken their volunteerism for granted.

In the face of adversity, communities of gay men, sex workers and people who use drugs have organized themselves to claim their right to health as equal citizens.

So, we know that communities have proved their worth. There is no debate there.

Without communities, 24 million people would not be on treatment today. Without communities led by women living with and affected by HIV, we would not be close to ending new HIV infections among children, raising orphans and caring for the sick.

Twenty-five years ago, a Burundi woman called Jeanne was the first person to disclose that she was living with HIV. Today, Jeanne is holding leaders accountable and fighting for the right to health care.

Pioneers like Jeanne have been joined by younger leaders, like 20-year-old Yana, who was born with HIV in Ukraine. Yana founded Teenergizer, a group bringing together young people across eastern Europe. In a world where power resides with old men, she wants her peers to have a voice and a choice.

Consider Fiacre. He lives in Central African Republic, displaced by conflict along with thousands of others. Fiacre cycles to a clinic, crossing barriers and checkpoints to collect antiretroviral medicines for him and members of a group he belongs to. Without this support, each person would have to make the dangerous journey on their own. Simply amazing.

As you can see, communities make the difference all over the world.

However, the way communities are being taken for granted has to change.

On World AIDS Day, UNAIDS salutes the achievements of activists and communities in the struggle against HIV. We remember and we honour all those whom we have lost along the way. Activists challenged the silence and brought life-saving services to their communities. But the countless contributions by women and many others can never replace the responsibility of governments.

Let me remind you, governments committed to at least 30% of HIV services being community-led.

They also agreed that 6% of all HIV funding go to community mobilization, promoting human rights and changing harmful laws that act as barriers to ending AIDS.

 

Let’s be clear, defending human rights and challenging discrimination, criminalization and stigma is risky work today.

So, we call on governments to open a space so that activists can do the work they do best.

With communities in the lead and governments living up to their promises, we will end AIDS.

Winnie Byanyima

Executive Director of UNAIDS

Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

UNAIDS

 

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more at unaids.org and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

https://www.unaids.org/en/resources/presscentre/pressreleaseandstatementarchive/2019/november/world-aids-day-2019-message-from-executive-director-winnie-byanyima



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