Paul Jensen — June 9, 2011 – 9:50 am
Hundreds of AIDS and TB activists took to the sweltering streets of midtown Manhattan today to demand that world leaders keep their promises to fight global AIDS. The march coincided with this week’s UN High Level Meeting on AIDS (or HLM, in acronym-happy UN parlance), which marks a decade since leaders convened and issued the first political declaration on AIDS.
Since then, leaders have issued a steady stream of promises, commitments, and speeches calling for the end of the epidemic. And while we’ve made historic gains against AIDS since then, the positive rhetoric on display at this week’s meeting belies a simple stark fact: AIDS funding is now declining.
If the trend continues, world leaders will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Consider this:
We now have definitive evidence that treating HIV with antiretrovirals stops it from spreading - meaning that if we keep the momentum we already have, we can provide ARVs to millions more people and halt HIV in its tracks.
We now know that we can save an additional million lives between now and 2015 simply by preventing tuberculosis - a curable disease - from killing people with HIV.
We now have a rapid DNA-based test for TB that detects the disease in people with TB-HIV co-infection - one of the greatest breakthroughs in diagnostic technology in 100 years.
We’ve never been better positioned to turn the tide against the pandemic, and leaders are now backpedaling? We can’t let them!
You may not have been in NYC to march (and sweat) with us, but you can take action right from your computer or smart phone. We’re sending world leaders a million messages to save a million lives. Go to http://www.action.org and join the chorus!
For inspiration, check out this video of Lucy Chesire - a Kenyan nutritionist living with HIV who nearly lost her life from TB - call on UN leaders to account for their promises!