[Ip-health] MSF statement: EU position on AIDS response for UN summit at odds with support for WHO strategy

Joanna Keenan joanna.l.keenan at gmail.com
Mon May 23 04:06:03 PDT 2011

*Statement by Médecins Sans Frontières – EU position on AIDS response for UN
summit at odds with support for WHO strategy*

“Today at the World Health Assembly, European countries, along with all
World Health Organisation Member States, endorsed the WHO strategy for
HIV/AIDS for the next five years, which sets ambitious goals and strategies
to guide the health sector’s response to HIV/AIDS.

This strategy will only be effective if it is matched by a political
commitment from countries to deliver. One of the key indications of that
commitment will be the outcomes of the UN High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS in
New York next month, where governments - including EU countries - will be
committing to the blueprint for the next decade of the global AIDS response.

But the support given by European Union member states at WHO contrasts
starkly with the position the EU bloc is adopting ahead of the UN summit,
where it is seeking to remove any substance from a global target on the
number of people living with HIV that will be provided with life-saving
treatment.  UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called for 13 million people in
need of HIV treatment to be on life-saving antiretroviral therapy by 2015.
However, Medecins Sans Frontieres has learned the EU has removed any
reference to a target, instead proposing vague language to *"significantly
increase the numbers of people living with HIV who are provided with access
to HIV antiretroviral treatment”.*

While EU countries including France, Germany, and United Kingdom are major
contributors to the fight against HIV/AIDS, these countries must set an
ambitious target, supported by policies that ensure access to affordable
medicines. An ambitious treatment target is important if a credible global
response is to be mounted to break the back of the epidemic and realise
long-term commitment to achieving WHO strategies.”

*Dr Tido von Schoen-Angerer, Director of Médecins Sans Frontières’ Campaign
for Access to Essential Medicines.*

Joanna Keenan

Press Officer

Medecins Sans Frontieres

Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines

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