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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Looking to the future on World AIDS Day

6
DEC
2010

Aids Alliance

To mark the launch of aids2031’s book 'AIDS: Taking a long-term view', Alvaro Bermejo, Executive Director of the Alliance, participated in a seminar at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on World AIDS Day yesterday.

aids2031 is an independent consortium of partners who have come together to look at what we have learned about the AIDS response as well as consider the implications of the changing world around AIDS. The year 2031 will mark 50 years of AIDS.

“World AIDS Day is a chance to recharge our batteries and look to the future” said Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and former Executive Director of UNAIDS, “what should we be doing today to have the best possible impact for future generations?”

Alvaro Bermejo, who was a member of aids2031’s working group on financing and costing, examined the implications of the report from an NGO’s perspective. “We need to start building local capacity now to have an effect by 2031” he said, and also called for improved cost efficiency in public health, a better watchdog and means to report and monitor successes.

Looking to the future Alvaro suggested that as the economies of middle income nations with a low HIV prevalence grow they should be able to fund their own responses, what is missing in some of them is the political will to allocate resources to an epidemic that mostly affects marginalised groups. Middle income countries with generalised HIV epidemics and low income countries with concentrated epidemics will continue to require external funding to complement their budgets. Low income countries with generalised epidemics will remain reliant on external funding for a scaled up response. In countries like Zambia it will equate to over 3% of their GDP.

He went on to say “the frustrating thing about the report is that there is no call for a ‘Robin Hood Tax’ on the financial sector as finding a new source of revenue to fund this work is essential”. The Robin Hood Tax campaign proposes a financial transaction tax and bank levies in order to raise billions to tackle poverty around the world.

The other speakers included Geoffrey Garnett, Professor, Imperial College London, chair of the aids2031 Modeling Group; Justin Parkhurst, Lecturer in Health Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on social drivers and Peter Colenso, Head of Human Development Department, Policy Division, DFID.

Peter Colenso confirmed that the government will be laying out its long term strategy on HIV/AIDS in the spring.

You can watch a video of the whole lecture on the LSHTM website.

AIDS: Taking a long-term view, is published by FT Science Press and available from December 13.

    What should we be doing today to have the best possible impact for future generations?