ONE at the International Aids Conference 2016

ONE at the International Aids Conference 2016

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Just last month UNAIDS warned that the long-term decline in HIV/AIDS had stagnated as funding for disease prevention hit an all-time low since 2010.

Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, said, “The power of prevention is not being realized. If there is a resurgence in new HIV infections now, the epidemic will become impossible to control. The world needs to take urgent and immediate action to close the prevention gap.”

ONE is at the International AIDS Conference (IAC) in Durban, South Africa this week to tell world leaders just that: the fight against HIV/AIDS is not over. International governments and African leaders must make it a priority to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in order to protect the millions of lives at risk.

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    ONE members make their way to the International Convention Centre to hand over a memorandum calling for better treatment and increased funding to fight AIDS. International Aids Conference (IAC). Durban, South Africa. Picture: JAMES OATWAY/ ONE
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    In a march organised by the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), thousands of demonstrators made their way to the International Convention Centre to hand over a memorandum calling for better treatment and increased funding to fight AIDS. International Aids Conference (IAC). Durban, South Africa. Picture: JAMES OATWAY/ ONE
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    July 18, 2016. Strong Girls perform at the opening ceremony of the International Aids Conference (IAC) in Durban, South Africa. Picture: JAMES OATWAY/ONE.ORG
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    Strong Girls perform at the opening ceremony of the International Aids Conference (IAC) in Durban, South Africa. Picture: JAMES OATWAY/ONE
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    Judith Sephuma helps prepare meals as part of 10 Million Meals for Mandela Day at Sibaya Casino in Durban. Picture: JAMES OATWAY/ONE
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    Charlize Theron speaks at the opening of the AIDS 2016 Conference (IAC) in Durban, South Africa. Picture: JAMES OATWAY/ONE
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    Activists from SWEAT and the Sisonke network protest for the decriminalisation of Sex Work at the International Aids Conference (IAC) 2016. Durban, South Africa. Picture: JAMES OATWAY/ONE
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    10 Million Meals for Mandela Day at Sibaya Casino in Durban. Arielle T; Selmor Mtukudzi; Mwambu Wanendeya; Waje; Judith Sephuma. Picture: JAMES OATWAY/ONE.ORG
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    Strong Girls packing meals for Mandela Day. Arielle T (Gabon); Selmor Mtukudzi (Zimbabwe); Waje (Nigeria); Judith Sephuma (SA)
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    Prince Harry chats with young delegates at the International Aids Conference (IAC) in Durban, South Africa. Picture: JAMES OATWAY/ONE
  • TACmarch13ab[1]
    In a march organised by the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), thousands of demonstrators made their way to the International Convention Centre to hand over a memorandum calling for better treatment and increased funding to fight AIDS. International Aids Conference (IAC). Durban, South Africa. Picture: JAMES OATWAY/ ONE

Leaders from sub-Saharan Africa must take bold and meaningful steps to address the needs of women and girls who are at the centre of today’s challenge to  combat the disease. Women in sub-Saharan Africa are twice as likely as men to contract HIV.

Investing 15% of their national budgets on health would not only save millions of lives, it would prove that we are all taking this problem seriously.

The international community also has a role to play in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We are calling on international leaders to contribute to the Global Fund, which has a replenishment target of $13 billion this year.

This year, ONE has joined up with Africa’s top female music stars who performed their song Strong Girl at the IAC Opening Ceremony on July 18. The Strong Girl song is a rallying cry to empower women and girls to seize the opportunity to lead the fight against extreme poverty, HIV/AIDS and other preventable diseases. As Judith Sephuma, ONE Strong Girl says, “It is alarming that every day over 850 young African women between 15-24 are infected with HIV”.

If African leaders fail to invest in the health of their citizens, and world leaders ignore their call to action, fewer lives will be saved and infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS will not be defeated. 2 million people have been infected with HIV every year since 2010, it is time to put an end to AIDS.

Join us in calling on world leaders to support #GirlsEverywhere to fight back against HIV/AIDS by signing Patricia and Consolata’s letter right now!

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