STOPAIDS applauds renewed UK Government leadership in the response to HIV and AIDS

Lynne Featherstone MP announced a 50% increase in funding for UNAIDS at a STOPAIDS parliamentary panel discussion last night. The announcement brings to £15 million the UK’s support for the UN body and builds on DFID’s earlier decision to commit £1 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria over the next three years.

Chaired by Russell Brown MP and organised in partnership with the All-Party Group on HIV and AIDS to mark 2013 World AIDS Day, the event drew a crowd of over seventy people to listen to representatives from UNAIDS, the Global Fund, the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Restless Development, as well as Emma – a Zimbabwean living with HIV.

“These contributions secure the UK’s place as a leader in the HIV response” remarked the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development, “and demonstrates our commitment in providing a considerable share of total global resources to universal access to HIV prevention, treatment care and support.”

IMG_8559

Her comments were matched in David Cameron’s 2013 World AIDS Day message. In the video message the Prime Minister references the decision to support the Global Fund and argues “in the years ahead we have got to show every bit as much commitment abroad as we do at home”.

The announcements coincided with the publication of DFID’s Review of Towards Zero Infections in which DFID outlined three areas of particular focus for DFID going forward: being a voice for key affected populations; renewing efforts on reaching women and girls affected by HIV; and the integration of the HIV-response within wider health system strengthening and other development priorities.

Welcoming the announcements STOPAIDS Director Ben Simms remarked: “We applaud this re-assertion of clear UK leadership in the response to HIV and AIDS around the world. We will work closely with the government to ensure they build on these announcements by shaping the global response, seizing the opportunities we have to bring the AIDS epidemic under control, and fighting to ensure that the human rights of every person living with HIV are at the centre of the response.”

In his speech for World AIDS Day, Ed Miliband, Leader of the Opposition, looks at how much further we have to go in ensuring all people living with HIV have access to treatment.

The parliamentary panel discussion took place on the eve of the replenishment conference for the Global Fund which takes place next week. In other activities during the week, STOPAIDS coordinated a lobby of the UK Parliament, briefing over 50 individual MPs and handing out 800 AIDS ribbons to parliamentarians and their staff.

Our briefings focused on our core concerns around the dangers of becoming complacent about HIV and AIDS, and the need to invest now in the on-going sustainability of the response, especially with regard to access to medicines.

Further reading:

Lynne Featherstone speech

David Cameron World AIDS Day message

Ed Miliband World AIDS Day message

Report on panel discussion

Review of Towards Zero Infections

UNAIDS World AIDS Day statistics

Report from International HIV/AIDS Alliance