Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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US blueprint: a catalyst for action by other donors?

30
NOV
2012

Aids Alliance

Timed to coincide with World AIDS Day, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has unveiled the PEPFAR Blueprint: Creating an AIDS-free Generation which provides four individual roadmaps for how the US Government will work to achieve an AIDS-Free Generation.

The Alliance’s Executive Director Alvaro Bermejo welcomed the blueprint and said he hoped it would be a catalyst for action by other donors which must also share the responsibility for bringing an end to AIDS.

“We would not be discussing the beginning of the end of AIDS without previous US Government contributions to successful initiatives such as the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.  Without renewed political and financial commitments from other donors and partners, we cannot realistically expect to seize one of the greatest opportunities of our times – achieving an HIV-free generation.”

Shared responsibility

Over the last 12 years, the HIV response has transformed into one of the most successful investment stories in development – with 8 million people living with HIV in low and middle income countries now receiving life-saving antiretroviral therapy.  International donor funding has been vital, but in 2011 domestic funding in low and middle income countries surpassed the contributions of international donors for the first time. 

Whilst this increase in shared responsibility is welcome, it would be a grave mistake at this ‘tipping point’ in the AIDS response to reduce international assistance for HIV.  That is why the US Blueprint is so welcome.

The PEPFAR Blueprint

The US Blueprint, which Secretary Clinton called for in her keynote speech at the International AIDS Conference in Washington DC in July, refers to a vision where “Scientific advances and their successful implementation have brought the world to a tipping point in the fight against AIDS. The United States believes that by making smart investments based on sound science and a shared global responsibility, we can save millions of lives and achieve an AIDS-free generation.”

It includes four different road maps (Saving Lives, Smart Investments, Shared Responsibility and Driving Results with Science), each with specific goals and action steps.  It emphasises the need for strategic investments and scale-up of high-impact, combination prevention activities over the next three to five years.

The Alliance particularly welcomes the Road Map for Smart Investments, which commits to “going where the virus is: targeting evidence-based interventions for populations at greatest risk”. The evidence tells us that in all regions of the world it is men who have sex with men, sex workers, people who use drugs, transgender people and other key populations who are disproportionally affected by HIV. These people often have limited or no access to health care and HIV services because of stigma and discrimination, criminalizing laws, human rights abuses, and violence.

Civil society recognised

Within the Blueprint, the Road Map for Shared Responsibility commits to increased support for civil society as a partner in the global AIDS response.  Jason Taylor Wright, Director of the Alliance’s US office said “We are happy to see a strong recognition in the Blueprint of the vital role that civil society is playing in the AIDS response. Continued financial and technical support for civil society and community-based organisations to build their capacity to deliver services and to advocate for evidence and rights based policies is essential.“

• This World AIDS Day, the Alliance has called on the UK Government, as the world’s second largest bilateral donor, to develop a similar blueprint.  It is now time for all stakeholders to play their part in achieving an HIV-free generation.

• Read this blog on the US Blueprint by Alliance US Director Jason Taylor Wright.