Treat AIDS Now
Image © Photographer Andy Aitchison
After five amazing years P&P’s HIV/AIDS campaign has come to an end. In this time your campaigning has:
Persuaded the UK government to lead an international commitment to provide treatment for all by 2010 — millions more now receive treatment;
Supported countries’ rights to access affordable treatment for their people — last year we helped 8,000 more people in Thailand get treatment, and in July 2008 the first steps were taken toward setting up a new international mechanism to bring down the cost of essential medicines;
Increased the international funding for HIV/AIDS
Key points our campaign made:
The existence of treatment means HIV is no longer a death sentence. But millions continue to die prematurely because they cannot access the drugs that will prolong their lives and dramatically reduce their suffering. Politicians are not coming forward with the leadership or the resources needed to respond to the crisis. International trade rules and the practices of pharmaceutical companies are keeping life-saving medicine priced out of reach.
In 2005, world leaders promised treatment for all by 2010. The UK government led the way in securing this promise. But they are not taking the action to make sure this promise is kept. Less than 30% of those in need of treatment receive it, and only a quarter of the funds needed to tackle AIDS are available. If the response is not scaled up urgently the universal access target will be missed - by more than a decade - and millions will die unnecessarily.
This year the UK government will publish a new strategy on tackling HIV and AIDS in the developing world. Due in Spring 2008, this document will shape their efforts over the next three crucial years. It must show a renewed commitment to keeping the promise of universal access by 2010 — providing the money, health workers, affordable medicines and political leadership that are needed to keep the promise.
AIDS is the crisis of our generation. The majority of those living with HIV/AIDS are under 25; many are born with HIV. It is our generation that is most affected, and it is our generation that has to respond. Student campaigners played a crucial role in persuading world leaders to commit to universal access; we must hold them to their promise.
Step one: Raise awareness and get more people involved
Step two: Put the spotlight on AIDS. A mass video petition to send a powerful message to decision makers.
Step three: Get your MP on side