End inequalities, end AIDS.

A message to world leaders

AIDS is not over. But it can be. 

 

AIDS remains one of the deadliest pandemics of modern times. But, with the tools and knowledge we have, we can end AIDS—if we address the inequalities driving the HIV pandemic.

This vision is reflected in the new Global AIDS strategy. The strategy sets ambitious targets for HIV prevention and treatment and calls for the elimination of stigma and discrimination. Meeting these targets by 2025 will put the world back on track to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.

On June 8-10 at the UN High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS, nearly every UN Member State supported the 2021 Political Declaration on Ending AIDS. This declaration includes the new targets—and highlights the need to stop AIDS everywhere, for everyone in order to stop it once, and for all.

Now it’s time to hold world leaders accountable for promises made and inspire them to commit the focus and funding needed to actualize the end of AIDS. In the film below, Thomas Buttenschoen, Winnie Byanyima, Kenneth Cole, Toumani and Sidiki Diabate, Youri Djorkaeff, David Furnish, Atiquah Hasiholan, Sir Elton John, Dr. Jose Ledesma, Ozaguin, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Princess Stephanie of Monaco, Stephanie Seydoux, Charlize Theron, Florence Thune, H.E. Madam Brigitte Touadera, Yousra, Pia Wurtzbach and Huang Xiaoming call on world leaders to keep their word.

Please join them by signing the letter to world leaders, below, and by sending your personal text or video message to world leaders on any social media platform using #EndInequalitiesEndAIDS.

LETTER

A Message to World Leaders: End inequalities, end AIDS.

 

Forty years ago, the first cases of AIDS were reported. The early days of the AIDS epidemic were full of suffering, with few solutions and little hope. Since then, 77.5 million people have contracted HIV and nearly 35 million people have been lost to AIDS.

AIDS remains one of the deadliest pandemics of modern times.

The rate of new HIV infections is not following the trajectory the world promised. And, with COVID-19’s impact, there is risk AIDS becomes a resurgent pandemic. While COVID-19 has dominated the world’s attention, AIDS remains a global health emergency.

But, it doesn’t have to be. A never-ending HIV pandemic is not our fate. We have the tools to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. What is needed now is for the world to address the inequalities that fuel AIDS.

Significant strides in fighting HIV/AIDS have led to marked declines in HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths—in some places, and for some people. At least 40 countries are on track to achieve a 90% reduction in AIDS-related mortality by 2030. This remarkable progress is thanks to the generosity and bold leadership of many nations. We deeply appreciate the commitments, the funding, and the strength of many of your voices on this issue.

Such results offer hope, but the aggregate, global statistics mask a tragic reality: thanks to increasing inequality, millions around the world remain at risk for contracting HIV and dying of AIDS. Many are denied the human rights and access to healthcare services that could save their lives. Those most affected include: gay men and other men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, female sex workers, transgender women, and people in prisons and other closed settings. These key populations, as well as adolescent girls and young women and children, are being left behind.

In 2020 alone, 690,000 people died of AIDS, and there were 1.5 million new HIV infections.

HIV is preventable and survivable—but only for those with access to evidence-based, comprehensive, rights-based prevention and treatment services.

For AIDS to truly be over, it has to be over for all.

A business-as-usual approach will fail. The programmes that have secured substantial progress to date will not enable us to finish the journey because the road is blocked. The evidence and analysis is clear: inequalities in power, status, rights and voice are driving the HIV pandemic. Inequalities kill.

That is why the new Global AIDS Strategy 2021-2026 is designed to address the inequalities that perpetuate the AIDS pandemic. We cannot be neutral on inequalities.  We must be deliberate in confronting them if we are to end AIDS. The only alternative is a vicious cycle of injustice, illness and emergency. We cannot overcome our crises through minor adjustments or tinkering.

Between countries, a widening gap separates those who have prevention, treatment and care services and their rights respected and those who are excluded. We cannot end AIDS in only one country, or one continent. We can only end AIDS if we end it everywhere.

On June 8-10, at the United Nations General Assembly’s 2021 High-Level Meeting on AIDS, the majority of UN Member States supported a bold, new Political Declaration on Ending AIDS that contains ambitious new targets for HIV prevention, treatment and for ending stigma and discrimination. It also calls for decriminalizing HIV.

Meeting these goals by 2025 puts the world on track to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030—part of the Sustainable Development Goals.

COVID-19 has transformed the landscape in which we deliver HIV prevention, treatment, and care. In some cases, it has made it more difficult to reach people, heightening their vulnerability to HIV. Millions of adolescent girls and young women have been forced out of school, increasing their risk of child marriage, teen pregnancy, and gender-based violence—which nearly doubles a girl’s risk of contracting HIV. Members of key populations face the threat of criminalization, undermining their ability to seek lifesaving care. COVID-19 has also led to life-saving innovations that are accelerating and improving HIV outreach. Multi-month dispensing of HIV medication and community-led delivery of HIV services have both increased.

And the decades of investment in the global AIDS response—in infrastructure, health systems, communities, and science—are paying dividends for COVID-19. For example, the public health and surveillance systems created for HIV are being used to fight COVID-19, and HIV vaccine research helped generate the mRNA technology used for COVID vaccines. The same laws, policies and strong, people-centred health services needed to end AIDS will also help the world overcome COVID-19, future-proof it against future pandemics and support inclusive economic growth and the human rights of all.

What we need to do to end AIDS will make the world a better place for all of us.

With the right and urgent actions now, global solidarity and robust funding we can again make significant progress against HIV/AIDS.

We thank you again for your bold and generous work on HIV in the past four decades and ask for your full commitment to ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 by addressing inequalities so we may meet the 2025 targets.

AIDS is not over, but it can be.

Whether we are remembered as promise-breakers or promise-keepers, as failures or victors, as the people who ended AIDS, or only as the people who could have ended AIDS, is up to us.

Let us win this fight, for all, together.

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Sign the letter

Sign the letter and join us in asking world leaders to fulfill their commitments to ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.

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List of signatories

  • Djamal Eddine ABDENNOUR
  • AYESHA KHARSANY
  • Hal Musazlioglu
  • Maggie William
  • Joshua Oddoye
  • Mikhail Sokolov
  • Cynthia Tanney
  • Tom Muyunga-Mukasa
  • Vitaliy Eychmann
  • Dmytro Kalinin
  • Tristan Osei
  • Louis Esson
  • Mutebi Ali
  • Kwabena Adu
  • Hellen Babu
  • Michael Grote-Westrick
  • Lebogang Ndlovu
  • Bhavik Daftary
  • Essossinam BAMAZI
  • AHEREZA MOREEN
  • Amisa Joseph NJENDA
  • Lintang Sagoro
  • Gordon Tambro
  • Benjy Malca
  • Gina Egos
  • Christine Chu
  • Kean Harris Contrano
  • Aan Rianto Equals_id
  • David Rendolph Masa
  • Mabusela Matwa
  • JR Sanchez
  • Ibe Junior
  • EDDIDE OTHMANE
  • Martine Sosoma
  • Ge Ygay
  • Thitiwatt Sirasejtakorn
  • Jan Kevin Rivera
  • Alinka Brutsch
  • Nanda Bagus Dwi Bujana
  • Kat Aylwin
  • Maycon Furlan
  • Chrispin Sango
  • Robert Landers
  • Jesus Villalobos
  • bey anne
  • CEPHAS AWEDAGA BABACHUWE
  • ELPHAS KIMUTAI
  • Kintu Kenny
  • African Young Positives Network AY+
  • Joseph Gernal
  • Essossinam BAMAZI
  • Angela Muathe
  • Aidsfonds - Soa Aids Netherlands
  • George Loy
  • Paula Meireles
  • Ali Demir
  • Kimutai Kemboi
  • Kabembo Oscar
  • Karyn Caplan
  • Emilia Amukuaya
  • Abiyu Million
  • Kati Monroe
  • Walujjo Ronald
  • Thamsanqa Ncube
  • Nsobih Marie lizette
  • MUJUNI SOLOMON
  • Arafat Mugabo
  • Allison Rodger
  • Saidou Kouyate
  • Red Ribbon Istanbul Association
  • Arda Karapınar
  • Jacob Kiprotich
  • Khayalethu Soni
  • Danny Bediako
  • Melvine Ouyo
  • Saidou Kouyate
  • Margaret King
  • Ssakaza Peter
  • David Mills
  • charles ofwono
  • Rukia Ahmed Farah
  • Hadad Allan Nuwagaba
  • Ahmed Aweis draweys87@gmail.com
  • Fardosa Ahamed
  • Sego Seferian
  • Sfundo gratitude Sithole
  • Julio Montaner
  • Stella Isbianto
  • Stella Isbianto
  • Melvin Claude Coats II
  • Gladys Njunge
  • Josephat Kalipesa
  • Lunga Memela
  • Kati Monroe
  • Louise Caldicott
  • Lisa Huet
  • Andrew Green
  • Ethel Makila
  • Phathwakahle Simelane
  • paul carter
  • Heidi Barker
  • Grets Byrd
  • Zoraida Arias
  • Jill Wise
  • Clive Britton
  • Nicole Healing
  • Maeve Wright
  • Josephine Keys
  • Victor Mponzi
  • Taj Yeruva
  • Olivia S%T. John
  • Kathy Brewer
  • Becky Thompson
  • Igor MEDVID
  • Mbalanga Francis
  • Jeff White
  • Patricia Martin
  • Vanessa Tate Finney
  • Steve Overton
  • Joyce Katsavras
  • Deborah Dickenson
  • Cynthia Dooley
  • Marsha Ross
  • Samantha Henderson
  • merces castro
  • Gay Weller
  • David Giblin
  • Dulcie Baldry
  • Wayne Baldry
  • Jackie Art
  • Amy Bradley
  • Glenn Thomas
  • Craig Kendell
  • Chris Barber
  • Jeanne Bellanger
  • Julie Hunt
  • Timothy Daugherty
  • Douglas Johnston Jr
  • Kenneth Hawes
  • Jaime Lyn Brisebois
  • CELINA CAMARGO BARTALOTTI
  • Lindiwe Mgabhi
  • Jane Bradley
  • Pilar Quintana
  • Christine Baugh
  • Zipporah Ali
  • PATRICK JOURDAIN
  • Robert Gandy
  • Mairi Sutherland
  • Brian Dwyer
  • Helen Liu
  • Joel Goldman
  • Patrick Myers
  • Rachel Allen
  • Anibal Puccio
  • Tatiana Valentinyova
  • Frederic Feliu
  • bruce Dundas
  • Shuayb Nuri
  • Atone Lemnwi
  • Kaylin Terhune
  • Karina Illescas
  • Paula Aulicino
  • Maycon Furlan
  • Arbogast Mutayoba
  • RAKIYA KOLO
  • Given Mabhena
  • de lafuente
  • Tuck-Keong Ho
  • Ibrahim Twahir Kilagwa
  • Eleanor Armitage
  • Mark Lewis
  • Miguel Rodríguez-Domínguez
  • Greg Reed
  • Lissette Rivera
  • Helena Almaguer
  • Hovhannes Madoyan
  • JC Angulo
  • Jane Brown
  • Terence Brady
  • Matthew Hodson
  • Dani Vooijs
  • Puleng Letsie
  • jeremy lentz
  • George Kerr III
  • Okombo Onyango
  • Ford Bosco
  • Mary Cohen
  • Matovu Abas
  • Hugo Yanzón
  • Jennifer Aist
  • Muhammad Iqbal
  • Charlotte Bragg
  • Charles Mukoma
  • Lisa Coombs
  • Melanie Otto
  • Nathaniel Miller
  • Reginald Vargas
  • James Gathage
  • Deborah Pichel
  • Charles Mpofu
  • Ratnam Buraga
  • Kakeeto Joseph Mutaawe
  • Micheal Senyonga
  • Joshua Andoh
  • Migisha Arnest
  • Moses Mncwabe
  • Waga Charity
  • Janet Arogundade
  • Gregory Goodluck
  • Haroun H
  • Tumelo Theka
  • ROBERT TANUI
  • Priyanshu Chatterjee
  • John Calingo
  • Soumya Sah
  • Chiranjit Kashyap
  • Ajay Visvkarma
  • Kudakwashe Mpofu
  • Joseph G Gernal
  • Luckmore Pamhidzai
  • Simba Garikai
  • Raymond Cheung
  • Isaias Kabali
  • Cantoner omondi
  • Ricardo Avelinos
  • Elma Atieno
  • Akantorana Bathsheba
  • Hayley Howard
  • Patrick Rono
  • Liv Romano
  • Luiz Lopes
  • Ekwang Jimmy
  • Pule Radase
  • Anand Murari
  • Andrew Mwae
  • Patience Amps
  • isabel nunes
  • JUSTUS ALUKA
  • Afiah Obenewaa
  • Vickie Koske
  • Lea Anangiaye
  • Noelyne Obiero
  • emmanuel milimo
  • Fletcher Chiu
  • David Gitau
  • Brenda Kovacevic
  • Allan Junior
  • Chantelle Courtney
  • Raquel CHILD
  • Semethe Suhla
  • Edward Mhina
  • Caroline Oram
  • Jose Luis Baylon
  • Cinco E
  • MICHEL DE GROULARD
  • Imani Magoti
  • Edwin Manoti
  • Laura Mumasi
  • Ajay Visvkarma
  • Andrea Grasso
  • Wambui Wahu
  • Julianna Csehó
  • Bukenya Jamiru
  • Melanie Hentschel
  • Denis Obong
  • Spha Mathonsi
  • Anirov Raymond
  • Madhukar Krishna
  • VISHAAL BHATNAGAR
  • Sophia Rivera
  • Jennifer Santos
  • Heather Arendt
  • Annette Dubois
  • Joey Hunt
  • Miriam Sabin
  • Eva Kiwango
  • Tan Jeremy
  • Masauso NZIMA
  • David Bogdan
  • Martina Sapienza
  • Esteban Garcia
  • ngonidzashe madidi
  • Hervé AESCHBACH
  • Rosa Dalla Torre
  • Martina Sapienza
  • Mamadou.L.SAKHO Mamadou
  • Peter Reiss
  • John Fairhurst
  • Scott Boule
  • yann beauvais
  • Justin Chukwukere
  • Jas Pham
  • Stacey-Lee Scott
  • OLUWADAMILOLA OLAYEMI
  • Diane Balimo
  • Kris Lee
  • Andrea Kindinger
  • Raymond Polhill
  • Luis Escobar
  • Ekanem itoro Effiong
  • Priscilla Cohen
  • Regan Hofmann
  • Kurt Frieder
  • Maria Maboya
  • Thamsanqa Robert Ncube
  • Tom Ornet
  • Camille Mongonou
  • Thomas Obuya
  • Antonia Powell
  • Jennifer Woods
  • Singalakha Mtuzula
  • Sebalewa Mudimba
  • Paul Bryan Javier
  • Dr Stellah Bosire
  • Dean Taylor
  • James Isaacs
  • Marc Lewis
  • Kat Swallow
  • Jose Hernandez
  • Patricia Ochieng
  • Daniel Gatti
  • Aneleh Fourie Le Roux
  • Trevor Stratton
  • Andreas Lehner
  • Fahmida Khan
  • Positive Voice
  • Peter Broadley
  • Ruben Pages
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