This World AIDS Day the International HIV/AIDS Alliance has published a new report – Don’t Stop Now: Calling for a UK blueprint to achieve an HIV-free generation – that praises the UK’s genuine political, financial and technical commitment to HIV over the past 30 years. But the report also fires a warning shot, urging the UK not to shift focus away from HIV now, just at the point when a renewed effort can help us finally control and reverse the pandemic.
If we really hope to reach optimal HIV programme coverage levels by 2015 (at which point infections, AIDS-related deaths and costs will all start to fall), what we need going forward is a blueprint that maps out the UK’s role in achieving an HIV-free generation, in line with the Investment Framework model. The blueprint should clearly set out how, through addressing the HIV pandemic, we will have a deep impact on broader health and development goals.
With the UK hosting the G8 summit in 2013 and the Prime Minister co-chairing the UN High Level Panel on the post-2015 development agenda, there will never be a better chance than next year to exert global leadership that would save millions of lives, and be a critical moment for leveraging the commitment of other key donors. In addition to this political leadership, the UK government should also deliver financial leadership by delivering “up to double” their contribution to the Global Fund for 2013 and 2014 as well as announcing a substantial long-term commitment to the Global Fund for 2015 and beyond.
The HIV response is one of the most successful investment stories in development, and the UK has played a key role in some eight million people living with HIV now receiving life-saving antiretroviral therapy. However, the nature and location of the HIV pandemic has changed in recent years – the majority of people living with HIV now live in middle income countries, over 19 million compared with 12 million in low income countries.
To see a truly effective HIV response, the UK government also needs to deliver technical/programmatic leadership by responding to the evolving nature of the pandemic. It should offer a “golden thread” of economic, social and political assistance to support the majority of people living with HIV. It must make strategic investment choices that will have the greatest impact and reach the poorest and most marginalised, wherever they live. This will result in the best value for money for those people directly affected by HIV, and for UK tax payers.
Mike Podmore, Policy Manager for the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, has written a blog for the ONE campaign to mark World AIDS Day on 1 December. This blog does not necessarily reflect the views of the ONE campaign.
The International ONE Blog is a daily log of the anti-poverty movement. The site is operated by ONE staff, with guest contributions from ONE volunteers, members and allies.
The content of each post and each comment represents the views of that author and does not necessarily reflect the views of ONE. ONE does not support or oppose any candidate for elected office, and any post expressing support or opposition for a candidate is not endorsed by ONE.