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A Glimpse of UNAIDS’ Programme Coordinating Board
UNAIDS’ Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) is comprised of 22 voting Member States, 10 Cosponsors (UN Agencies such as UNFPA, UNDP, UNICEF, etc.) and 10 representatives of non-governmental organizations, NGOs. IPPF/WHR is one of the North American NGO Delegates to the PCB.
The PCB is meeting right now in Geneva and significant decisions have been made. Let me tell you a bit about them.
Last June the PCB approved a new UNAIDS Mission, “Zero new HIV infections, Zero AIDS-related deaths, Zero discrimination” and asked UNAIDS to develop a new strategy. That strategy was adopted just a couple of days ago and is an ambitious forward-looking document with three strategic directions, one for each of the zeros in its mission. It aims to revolutionize HIV prevention; catalyze the next phase of treatment, care and support; and advance human rights and gender equality within the HIV response.
Each Strategic Direction has at least three goals to be achieved by 2015. To revolutionize HIV prevention, for example, they seek to reduce by half the sexual transmission of HIV, including among young people, men who have sex with men, and transmission in the context of sex work; to eliminate vertical transmission of HIV and reduce by half AIDS-related maternal mortality; and to prevent all new HIV infections among people who use drugs.
To catalyze the next phase of treatment, , they seek universal access to antiretroviral therapy for eligible people living with HIV; to reduce by half the number of Tuberculosis deaths among people living with HIV; to address people and households affected by HIV in all nationals HIV responses; and to provide social protection strategies among other goals.
To advance human rights and gender equality for the HIV response, they seek to reduce by half the number of countries with punitive laws and practices around HIV transmission, sex work, drug use or homosexuality and to eliminate HIV-related restrictions on entry, stay and residence in half of the countries that have restrictions; as well as to address the HIV-specific needs of women and girls in at least half of all nation HIV responses, among others.
As you can imagine the process to adopt the strategy was not easy. At points we thought it was not going to happen. Once the final draft was finalized, the NGO Delegation worked hard to prevent it from being opened for negotiations, as that would surely lead to a watered down version. Fortunately, we succeeded in doing so!
We recognize that the Strategy is not perfect and we as NGO PCB Delegations have raised several issues, many related to implementation and follow-up. So now our work is to ensure that the strategy is transformed in to action.
More news to come!
Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Author: Yann Forget