Write Us In! campaign: three reasons to sign our petition

Hello, my name is Karen Johnson. I am coordinating the Write Us In! campaign on behalf of the Alliance. For months we’ve been campaigning to ensure that marginalised groups who are most at risk of HIV are not overlooked by the UN in the post 2015 health agenda.

Karen Johnson, Campaigns CoordinatorAs I write this, member states are preparing to gather in Geneva for the 68th World Health Assembly where discussions will continue about the next set of global development goals which will determine the health agendas and policies of countries for the next fifteen years.

We need to act now to ensure the health goal which aims to ensure that everyone can have access to affordable and high quality health services through Universal Health Coverage will address the specific healthcare needs of LGBTI people and other marginalised groups.

Campaign image for Write Us In! - campaign for equity in health care for LGBTI people.Last week we launched the Write Us In! campaign asking you to sign our petition calling for equal access to healthcare for LGBTI people. I want to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to support this action. We will make sure your voice is heard next week at the World Health Assembly when we hand over the petition to Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization and Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank.

If you haven’t yet signed the petition, here are three reasons why you should:

1.  Discriminatory laws reinforce low levels of access to health services

Millions of marginalised people around the world are denied access to life-saving healthcare and HIV services because of punitive laws and policies that discriminate on the basis of sexual identity. In 2012 (UNAIDS data), 60% of national governments reported the existence of laws, regulations or policies that present obstacles to effective HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services for key populations and vulnerable groups.

We are calling for: commitments to eliminate punitive and discriminatory laws, policies and practices across all targets under the new health goal

2.  Tailored solutions will help reach people faster with the HIV services they need

UNAIDS data (2012) shows that HIV prevalence is estimated to be 19 times higher among gay men and other men who have sex with men and up to 49 times higher among transgender women than among the rest of the adult population.

We are calling for: indicators under the Universal Health Coverage target which address the specific needs of key populations who are vulnerable and most at risk of HIV, and for these groups to be included in all monitoring and accountability mechanisms.

3. We will kick ourselves for the next 15 years if we don’t act now

The new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which includes Universal Health Coverage, will replace the Millennium Development Goals at the end of this year.

Between now and the UN General Assembly in September, we have a window of opportunity to insist that those responsible for drafting the SDGs guarantees that every one of us can receive the healthcare we need, wherever we are, whoever we are.

Thank you and click on the link below to take action.