People living with HIV call for stronger focus on access to quality treatment, human rights and involvement
Washington DC/ Amsterdam, 20 July 2012: LIVING2012 : the Positive Leadership Summit ended today on a high note with people living with HIV making a strong call to global leaders in the HIV response to increase access to quality treatment, protect and promote the rights of people living with HIV and involve people with HIV in scaling up the HIV response.
People living with HIV from 85 countries met for the last two days in
“LIVING2012 has been an amazing opportunity for people living with HIV to meet and discuss the issues that matter the most to all of us,” said Kevin Moody, CEO of the Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+). “These global meetings are essential to determine common ground amongst people living with HIV and to define how the HIV response can be more effective, efficient and inclusive.”
Around these themes, people living with HIV called for protective laws to be implemented, enforced and monitored by all governments and other agencies. Human rights protections must include equality for women, men having sex with men, LGBT populations, sex workers and people who use drugs. The strong consensus was that stigma and discrimination, in particular HIV criminalization, is a violation of human dignity impeding the HIV response at all levels.
With participants from many different countries, all had different experiences regarding access to treatment, prevention, care and support. However, there was a strong demand that access to quality treatment and prevention should be available to all people and inclusive of all key populations. This access can only be achieved effectively when it happens under the umbrella of Positive Health, Dignity and Prevention.
In addition, the preventive effects of quality treatment are an important opportunity to make great leaps in stopping new infections. However, there was no consensus formed because of concerns about the lack of scientific evidence for early treatment; issues regarding possible human rights violations; and the need to focus access to treatment based on medical needs of people living with HIV first, rather than public health concerns.
LIVING2012 participants called on the community of people living with HIV to be inclusive in their activism and leadership to be able to effectively address the needs of all people living with HIV, specifically youth, women and members of key populations such as men who have sex with men, sex workers and people who use drugs.
Participants at LIVING2012 will bring forward these messages to AIDS2012 to discuss and highlight the real needs of people living with HIV during workshops and other sessions. In addition, people will take back to their communities these combined learning experiences and advocacy messages.
LIVING2012, the 13th International Conference of People living with HIV, is organized by the Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+). The LIVING2012 conference and process is supported by the LIVING Partnership, a consortium of organizations committed to strengthening the movement of people living with HIV and their communities. Read more at www.living2012.org or www.gnpplus.net