* * *
Following the release of the outline of President
"After years of neglect during the Trump and Obama years,
Biden has the opportunity to be the president who saves countless lives by ending AIDS as a global public health threat, but time is running out. It will take a more significant commitment and bold leadership that brings sufficient funding, a qualified nominee to lead the response, and human rights and evidence-based policies developed in deep consultation with the most affected communities.
The last year of unfathomable human loss and health system collapse during colliding pandemics should have taught us the importance of investing in the human right to health, including making life-saving medicines available to all people, worldwide. We know how to end AIDS, but elected leaders still lack the will to make it a reality. This is not the time to turn a blind eye to the devastating impact of underfunding the HIV response. Biden should lead a renewed global HIV response founded in justice and human rights, dedicated to ending AIDS as a global public health threat. But without sufficient funding, people will continue to suffer and needlessly die preventable deaths. Biden must consider these possibilities and choose to truly lead in this moment, not let it pass by."
Activists are calling on
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,
* HIV testing has reduced nearly 40% compared to 2019;
* Some countries have seen a 25% decline in the number of HIV positive pregnant women accessing services to prevent perinatal HIV transmission;
* HIV treatment initiation has dropped by 25% across many age groups;
* Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) over one year fell 74% and there are similar declines in prevention for adolescent girls and young women, such as PEPFAR's DREAMS program.
Activists are also calling on the president to name a qualified nominee (https://healthgap.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Biden-Letter.pdf) to serve as the
* * *
To: The Honorable
Dear President Biden:
We, the undersigned civil society organizations, are calling on your administration to prioritize achievement of the global goal of securing a defeat of HIV by 2030 as a public health threat by: 1) urgently nominating a qualified
This critical moment requires forthright leadership in the global HIV and COVID-19 responses that will help define the global HIV response over the next five years. That leadership must continue to reside in the
Without a qualified leader in this role, we run the risk of diminishing the impact we will have on achieving our shared global goals, and on shaping PEPFAR's strategic direction. That leadership is needed urgently.
We look forward to your immediate response.