This World AIDS Day, PeaceX Organization is highlighting the urgent need to end the inequalities that drive AIDS and other pandemics around the world.
The consequences of inequalities, is not just a moral issue. It affects our economies as badly as it affects our political, cultural, legal and societal norms at large. We are paying in very high prices, for this inequality across all dimensions.
While many HIV programs have proved resilient during the COVID-19 crisis, the wider damage done by the pandemic, most acutely felt by populations that are already disadvantaged threatens to undermine global efforts to end the AIDS pandemic by 2030. Without bold action against inequalities, the world risks missing the targets to end AIDS by 2030, as well as a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and a spiraling social and economic crisis.
Millions of lives will be lost from AIDS-related causes if we carry on as we are - if we do not rapidly expand coverage to stop new infections and deaths and bring the pandemic to end. And make no mistake: AIDS remains a pandemic. To stop it we urgently need a bolder view of pandemic response that is capable of tackling the inequalities prolonging the AIDS pandemic. Many of these missing pieces to fight HIV are also allowing the COVID-19 pandemic to continue and leaving us dangerously unprepared for pandemics of the future.
It took decades for HIV tests and medications to become widely available and easily affordable for all who need them. Millions of lives were lost along the way. The vaccine inequalities of today’s COVID-19 pandemic echo the treatment inequalities of the early AIDS response. Rights violations undermine trust and drive people away from public health measures.
Efforts to safeguard and re-energize the global HIV response achieved two major milestones in 2021: The development of a five-year global AIDS strategy and approval by the UN General Assembly of the strategy’s focus on inequalities alongside a comprehensive set of global targets for 2025.
This World AIDS Day, lets fight to end pandemics, but only if we are bold enough to end the inequalities which drive them.
End inequalities. End AIDS. End pandemics.