“Women’s health and maternal mortality have long been ignored. Every day we hear stories from partners of how HIV prevention, treatment and care make a significant difference to women’s health,” said Alvaro Bermejo, Executive Director of the Alliance.
“We all might wish the facts were different but they are not. Ignoring them when talking about women’s health or maternal mortality; brushing away facts when making funding decisions will only make them worse,” he added.
A number of countries including France, Japan and China pledged funding at the Summit to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria but it remains to be seen just how donor commitments will meet the Global Fund’s funding gap and how this in turn will affect the achievement of universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support by 2015.
“AIDS hasn’t gone away and if funding for the AIDS response drops off this will mean women and children unable to get their treatment will die. Don’t let’s lose the gains we’ve made because the world’s attention has moved on,” urged Alvaro.
Dr Gitau Mburu who has recently joined the Alliance has written an article from his perspective of being a doctor faced with the challenges of providing HIV treatment. He highlights the particular importance of linking MDG 5 on maternal health with MDG 6 on HIV and AIDS in order to provide an effective response to improving maternal health and preventing the spread of HIV.
The issue of addressing those most at need was highlighted at the Summit thanks to a speech by Executive Director Andriy Klepikov of Alliance Ukraine who outlined the extraordinary work that is being done in the country to improve HIV prevention, treatment and care for those most vulnerable to the disease, in particular injecting drug users.
The experience provides some important lessons for other countries experiencing similar challenges.
Don’t let’s lose the gains we’ve made because the world’s attention has moved on