AIDS 2012: expectations and questions

July 12, 2012

Posted by The KC team

The Alliance hosts a citizen journalism programme called Key Correspondents (KCs).

By Key Correspondent Prakash Tyagi* (India)

This post first appeared on AIDS 2012 official blog on 27 June.

The International AIDS Conference is returning to the US after 22 years. Undoubtedly, the interest levels will be high and the expectations will be huge for about 20,000 people attending the conference, and for the rest of the world.

Since AIDS 2010 in Vienna, a number of important developments have taken place. Close to three decades into the pandemic, there are signs of rolling back the huge toll of HIV. Prevention prospects have shown a glimmer of hope with the new discoveries such as the microbicide gel. Universal coverage of Anti Retroviral Treatment (ART) has improved significantly, including in a number of low-and middle-income countries. On the flipside, the funding scene has not been very encouraging. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and UNAIDS have struggled to replenish its resources, leaving a considerable funding gap.

Therefore, the event has many important aspects to discuss, and many questions to be answered.

The conference will be important for three main aspects in my view. Firstly, the US is  the hub of scientific and medical research on the virus. Since 1987 or so, unparalleled work on prevention and management science of HIV has taken place in the country. While some of this work has been presented and shared in the past conferences, AIDS 2012 certainly provides a greater opportunity and platform to showcase the progress made.

Secondly, the funding situation remains critical. The Global Fund had to cancel its most recent round of funding due to shortage of resources. The World Health Organisation has found improvements on access to and coverage of ART has been made in a number of countries, but these improved trends have to sustain, and more progress is still needed in many areas. There is a lot of apprehension on the availability of funds, and the global community will look forward to the AIDS 2012 as a forum with answers to questions related to future of funding.

Thirdly, the conference is going to be crucial in terms of consolidating global North and global South solidarity in the response towards HIV. In Washington D.C. people living with HIV, practitioners and scientists will have opportunities to share and to renew their synergies. Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was once quoted as describing the global AIDS epidemic as facing an unprecedented crisis requiring an unprecedented response in the form of solidarity across the world; between healthy and sick, between rich and poor.

I truly hope this solidarity revitalises and strengthens in Washington, D.C.

There is always a threat of underachieving when the expectations are high and the agenda is comprehensively large. In the context of HIV, it is always going to be the case. However, prioritizing actions helps, and I hope the global community looks into key priorities during the week in Washington, D.C.

* Prakash Tyagi is a young physician and public health professional. He leads Gravis in India.

Read Prakash’s latest KC posts here.

One Response to AIDS 2012: expectations and questions

  1. Cornelia wakhanu says:

    I would also like the insurance companies to also be discussed.
    Some of them have share contribution and they deny peoples rights to contribute. When starting to contribute, they accept with no limitation. When you stop contributing for sometimes due to financial issues, they complicate by ensuring you test for HIV/AIDS before restarting payment. They direct you to their comapny doctors to test you. The doctor only releases the results to them but not the client. When you follow up with their offices about the results if received so that you start contributin your shares, they move you around tomorrow, next week, toomorrow, next ——- . you continue wasting your money, time and energy without real results. They continue until one year is over HIV tests not out from their doctor when the reality is that they got it immediately after afew days of testing as confirmed from the doctor by the client. When you want to start, no official document despite the client sending offcial complaints and requests. The staff verbally say all your cash is gone since you failed to contribute for a long time. WHo is to be blamed, the client or the company made the time longer? When this contribution was started so that after five eyears it was meant to start payment of a child at school on yearly bonuses, When almost to finish, they complicate and the child starts secondary without using the bonuses entitled due to the issue not yet resolved? What is the problem here. Did the client have HIV AIDS that they denied her of the continuation? But why did they not up to now returned the cash to the client after contributing three to four policies and nothing done for the client. This is a very big global insurance with great integrity and values to serve the customers better. Is this not a discrimination of some clients to benefit from their comapny without any form of discrimination?

    Up to now, nothing being done. My question is, ‘was HIV test a way to finf means to squintle the shares for the client?

    Over 300,000 kenya shillings was contributed as a total of all the policies to this global insurance company and still being followed from 2010 up to now despite accepting othet policies to have initiated even before the HIV test was done. Just imagine how this company put the mess in paying school fees for her children when whe thought the insurance assited her in planning for the future. Why did they not request HIV testing at the beginning as it is a requirement when you default and you need to restart? Why did they take a year to admit the HIV test came out? And why did they also request the client to retest since the test was done a year ago when they were saying the results were not out? Why waste the cash for the client in paying for the test and fare to their office many times and energy and time?

    Insurances also need to be visited too in accountability not only government and institutional leaders.

    During this event, factor this. many people are being marginalized in different ways and different places without talking.

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