PES Women and Rainbow Rose Call for Increased Investment in HIV/AIDS Treatment Globally
1st of December, World Aids day This year two very important reports have been published: the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Report 2014 and a study by the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
In the MDG report there seems to be much reason to be positive. According to the report access to antiretroviral therapy for HIV-infected people has been increasing dramatically, with a total of 9.5 million people in developing regions receiving treatment in 2012. But the report also underlines a reason to be cautious; expanding the coverage of antiretroviral therapy can save many more lives. In addition, knowledge about HIV among youth needs to be improved to stop the spread of the disease. For this to happen successfully there needs to be increased investment to improve access to these therapies and to save even more lives. 9.5 million people might sound like a lot but Goal 6 was to have halted and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015. We have one year to reach that goal and we can if, and only if, investment for research is increased and if organizations like IAVI (International AIDS Vaccine Initiative) are supported in their work for a HIV vaccine. According to IAVI last year alone, 1.5 million people died from HIV/AIDS and 2.1 million, that’s 5,750 a day, became infected.
PES Women President Zita Gurmai is a long-time supporter of IAVI. Ms. Gurmai points out that; “while therapeutic vaccines are making a huge improvement in the lives of millions of people, HIV is still a deadly virus and AIDS is the number one killer of women in reproductive age in Africa. With a preventative vaccine, which can only come from increased investment into research, humanity can stop the destruction of lives by HIV in its tracks just as we have brought other once deadly diseases to a halt.”
The second report by the United States CDC sadly confirmed what reports from other developed countries with a long history of HIV infection have been finding. Between 2001 and 2011, new HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men between the ages of 13 and 24 increased by a staggering 132.5 percent. We are continuing to fail our young people by failing to invest in effective sex education and measures such as freely available information, STI testing and prophylactics.
Aurelien Mazuy, President of Rainbow Rose said: "This day reminds us that AIDS is, unfortunately, still spreading in the world and in Europe. The LGBT community has been very active in its prevention, and shall remain mobilised, but the fight against HIV is the responsibility of every one of us. HIV-positive people still suffer from multiple discrimination which is unacceptable in Europe!"