The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the framework which we currently use to measure development, will come to an end in 2015. How will this affect the HIV response?
I’m not making any predictions at this point but what I do know is that the paradigm has been shifting in the last few years away from disease specific approaches to broader comprehensive health and development frameworks.
HIV has been lucky. What do I mean by this? Included in the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDG), is MDG 6 (combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases). Although MDG 6 is not exclusive to HIV, two of the targets (Target 6.A: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS; and Target 6.B: Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it) are HIV related and the third has a strong reference to HIV in relation to TB.
Much progress has been made since 2000. MDG 6 and its targets have afforded HIV a certain level of priority to both governments and donors. But this has not been sufficient. We did not reach universal access to treatment by 2010 and we won’t have started to halt new infections and reverse the spread of HIV by 2015.
So let’s take a look at what lies ahead…
The MDGs expire in 2015.
The ‘buzz’ across the development sector is that the post-MDG framework will only include one health related goal (if we’re lucky).
Donors continue to move away from disease specific funding towards broader health systems strengthening.
Things have never been ‘easy’ in the HIV response and addressing HIV isn’t going to get any easier. What I do see is that there are big changes on the horizon. The HIV sector will need to embrace this change and if we want to have the biggest impact we will need to own this change as our own.
Let’s be purposeful in engaging in the post-MDG framework development. This means taking leadership roles at national, regional and global levels to ensure that the voices of people living with HIV and key populations are at the centre of the post-MDG framework development processes. This means clearly demonstrating the impact of HIV on development.
Let’s be purposeful in making sure that what we have learned over the last 30 years isn’t set aside, as broader health and development take the stage. This means strategically positioning our organisations and achievements at key decision making fora. This means being able to translate how the HIV response benefited from stronger communities, community mobilisation and human rights-based programming to broader health and development outcomes.
We have always wanted the HIV response to be embedded within broader health and development to ensure that people living with HIV and key populations have the same access and rights to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support and to realise their overall right to health and life.
Let’s aim higher and reach further than anyone expects us to.