At a demonstration yesterday at the conference at least one AIDS activist was arrested and several others were injured. Alliance partner organisations and staff from the international secretariat were not directly involved, but Alliance events at the conference have been suspended in solidarity with those who have been arrested.
Demonstration demanding increased access to treatment
Community activists at the conference organised the demonstration to call the world’s attention to the potential impact of Free Trade Agreements on access to cheap generic medicines for people living with HIV (PLHIV). Generic medicines have been essential to scaling up access to life-saving anti-retroviral treatment, stretching limited resources to meet the needs of now more than three million people around the world.
The member states of the United Nations have committed to treating 15 million PLHIV by 2015; without affordable generics, this goal will be out of reach.
Community activism has been an important part of the global AIDS movement since the start of the epidemic 30 years ago. The courage of activists has fast-tracked access to medicine and has drawn attention to failed policies, inadequate investment and repeated violations of the rights of the most marginalised and vulnerable.
Protecting human rights
Human rights play a central role in an effective response to HIV and are a central pillar of the Alliance’s global strategy.
Alvaro Bermejo, Executive Director of the Alliance has also condemned the arrests at ICAAP and said "Community action and support for the work of civil society are essential to our progress in fighting the epidemic. In a time when governments are stepping back from their responsibilities and failing to make necessary investments, civil society must expand our efforts to draw attention to issues that impede success."
"We must hold governments and international donors accountable and ensure that they adequately fund and support the response to AIDS. As part of this commitment, governments must reject FTAs that adversely impact access to affordable generic medicines. We stand in solidarity with community activists at ICAAP in their efforts to address this issue."
Read more about Alliance activities at ICAAP and click here for more information about these latest events.
Read this statement from Asian networks.
We stand in solidarity with community activists at ICAAP in their efforts to address this issue.