Global Political Leaders Should Draft ‘Ambitious, Actionable, Realistic’ Declaration On HIV/AIDS

Global Health NOW: Political Leadership, HIV, and Health: Keeping Leaders Accountable
Ron MacInnis, technical director of health at Palladium and deputy director for HIV at the Health Policy Project, and Annmarie Leadman, senior technical adviser of health at Palladium and director of communications and knowledge management at the Health Policy Project

“…When [leaders meet in New York at the U.N. High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS in June], U.N. member state representatives will draft a new political declaration on HIV/AIDS. Declarations have proven useful as global tools to set commitments and priorities, harmonize approaches, and provide a reference point for advocates, but the impact of such declarations in high-burden countries is mixed. … There is a collective unease among those on the front lines of the HIV response, including millions in need of lifelong HIV treatment. They are concerned about global HIV targets that may be interpreted too optimistically by political leaders in high-prevalence countries, overly simplistic messaging on ‘ending AIDS,’ and the lack of emphasis on HIV in the Sustainable Development Goals that may signal a receding sense of urgency around the epidemic. This week’s U.N. meeting [of civil society advocates and community service representatives] presents an ideal opportunity to present clear demands to political leaders and ensure that their new declaration is ambitious, actionable, and realistic” (4/3).