[Ip-health] Oxfam: Shifting from ?Fighting AIDS? to ?Ending AIDS? will need Crucial Commitments

Mohga Kamal-Yanni mkamalyanni at oxfam.org.uk
Fri Jul 27 10:59:52 PDT 2012

July 27, 2012

Shifting from ?Fighting AIDS? to ?Ending AIDS? will need Crucial 

Washington D.C. ? As the International AIDS Conference wrapped up today, 
international aid agency Oxfam praised the advocates and the scientists 
who have ignited momentum to shift from ?fighting AIDS? to ?ending AIDS,? 
and urged governments and the pharmaceutical industry to make this vision 
a reality.

Increasingly effective medicines, new treatments for those who develop 
resistance or severe side effects, and even a path for a cure were all the 
good news at the Conference. But to make this reality, pharmaceutical 
companies donor governments must now do their part.

?Scientific advances have shown the way for effective prevention and for 
treatment that saves lives and turns the deadly disease into a chronic 
condition,? said Dr. Mohga Kamal-Yanni, senior health advisor for Oxfam. 
?But pharmaceutical companies are dragging their feet and not granting 
licenses to public bodies, such as the Medicine Patent Pool, that would 
enable production of affordable HIV treatment to all people who need it in 
developing countries.?

While US Secretary of State Clinton announced a substantial financial 
commitment on the part of the United States to end AIDS, her US Trade 
Representative is negotiating a trade deal that will in fact undermine 
such efforts. By pushing for enhanced monopoly protection on new 
medicines, including medicines to treat HIV and AIDS, US efforts will 
drive up the cost of medicines for people living in poverty, and the 
governments and agencies that seek to help them.

The financial crisis has been blamed for a decrease in global funding for 
HIV and health programs that forced the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, 
Tuberculosis and Malaria to announce last year that it wasn?t able to 
finance any new funding proposals until 2014. This year, the Global Fund 
is discussing a new funding model that could lead to severe steps back in 
country ownership and aid effectiveness, forcing poor countries to go for 
what they can get rather than what they actually need.

?We cannot end AIDS without global investment in massive scale up of 
appropriate prevention and treatment efforts especially through the Global 
Fund,? said Kamal-Yanni. ?We hope that the Global Fund board will reject 
top down approaches and instead maintain the country ownership principal 
that the Fund prides itself on and truly delivers for those in need.?

The initiative to have HIV free generation by stopping mother to child 
transmission is to be applauded. Yet the lack of commitment of donors and 
governments to treating women before and after birth is appalling. 
Furthermore, the lack of high-level political commitment from country 
leaders to remove prejudice, stigma and discrimination against the most 
vulnerable groups threatens to undermine the goal of Ending AIDS.

New World Bank president Jim Kim made a splash at the Conference, 
committing the Bank to play a crucial role in ending AIDS by focusing on 
what the bank does best: building health systems. Oxfam believes investing 
in health system, such as infra structure, health workers, drug supply 
chains and health information systems, is a critical prerequisite to 
ending AIDS.

?The World Bank should fulfill this promise by enabling developing 
countries ? with help from other donors? to invest in free public health 
care and in supporting community based care,? said Kamal-Yanni.

For further inquiry:
Laura Rusu in Washington, DC +1 202-459-3739 LRUSU at oxfamamerica.org

The international confederation of Oxfam [http://www.oxfam.org] is a group 
of independent non-governmental organizations from Australia, Belgium, 
Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, 
the Netherlands, New Zealand, Quebec, Spain, the UK and the US.

Mohga -dictating to the computer so please forgive  silly mistakes
Dr. Mohga M Kamal-Yanni
Senior health & HIV policy advisor
Oxfam GB
John Smith Drive, Oxford, OX4 2 JY
Tel               +44(0) 1865 472290
UK Mobile   + 44 (0)777 62 55 884
Skype    Mohga Kamal-Yanni
Follow me @MohgaKamalYanni

Oxfam works with others to overcome poverty and suffering.

Oxfam GB is a member of Oxfam International and a company limited by guarantee registered in England No. 612172.
Registered office: Oxfam House, John Smith Drive, Cowley, Oxford, OX4 2JY.
A registered charity in England and Wales (no 202918) and Scotland (SC 039042)

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