This World AIDS Day, we’re asking the UK government, Why Stop Now?

 Guest blog from Stop AIDS Campaign

Why Stop Now?This World AIDS Day, 1st December 2012, marks a critical moment in the global response to HIV and AIDS.

Activists ask David Cameron, Why Stop Now? Photo: Stop AIDS Campaign

Huge progress has been made since HIV was first identified over 30 years ago. 8 million people across the developing world are now accessing life-saving HIV treatment, compared to just 400,000 in 2003. AIDS-related deaths are declining, from a peak of 2.2 million in the mid-2000s, to 1.8 million in 2010. And we have treatment available which prevents almost all babies from being born with HIV.

Yet, more than 7 million people still have no access to treatment. The 1.8 million deaths in 2010 are 1.8 million too many, which could have been prevented had treatment been available. And because people couldn’t access the right services, 330,000 babies were still born with HIV in 2011.

I could go on. We have achieved so much, but there is still so much further to go.

As Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS, remarked recently: “The AIDS response broke the conspiracy of silence around HIV. Now we face a new conspiracy: that the job is done.”

We are at a time of unprecedented opportunity in the global AIDS response. We have the “know-how” to bring about a tipping point in the epidemic – increasing the number of people accessing treatment, and reducing the number of people acquiring HIV in the first place. Using this could avert 12.2 million new infections, and 7.4 million more AIDS-related deaths by 2020 than would be avoided if we carry on with business as usual.

That’s why this World AIDS Day, we’re asking Why Stop Now?

We’re calling on the UK to announce they will develop a blueprint, showing how they will ensure the world reaches the tipping point in the epidemic before it’s too late.

Please visit Why Stop Now? and join us in asking David Cameron for a blueprint.

You can make a difference –join the Stop AIDS Campaign’s conversation. Talk to your MP, tell your friends or make some noise online. For HIV and AIDS, we have come too far to turn back now. Find us on Twitter @stopaids and don’t forget to use #whystopnow

The time is now. A world where no one dies of AIDS, no one gets HIV, and where the rights of all people living with or affected by HIV are upheld, is within our grasp. We just need the UK government to ensure they lead the way.

This World AIDS Day: Why Stop Now?

-Jessica Hamer, Campaign and Advocacy Manager, Stop AIDS Campaign

The Stop AIDS Campaign is a coalition of 80 UK NGOs, faith-based and academic agencies, including RESULTS UK, working at the heart of the global response to HIV and AIDS for 25 years.