Scaling up access to HIV treatment in West and Central Africa
04 April 2014
AIDS experts from West and Central Africa participated in the first regional consultation to define new targets to ensure universal access to HIV treatment in the region. Held in Dakar, Senegal from 31 March to 1 April, the event was organized by UNAIDS, in collaboration with WHO and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.
The discussions focused on the scientific, technical, political and financial aspects of the expansion of HIV treatment in the region.
Taking into consideration the evidence showing that early initiation of HIV treatment saves lives, prevents opportunistic infections, stops sexual transmission of HIV and saves cost in the long run, participants issued a call for action stating that access to HIV treatment should be considered a human right and that each person living with HIV should have the right to receive treatment.
More than 150 participants attended the event representing national AIDS councils and other governmental organizations, including Ministries of Finance, civil society organizations, the private sector, associations and networks of people living with HIV, the network of African Men for Sexual Health and Rights as well as technical and financial partners from 25 countries from West and Central Africa.
“Today, we have a unique opportunity to write the final chapter of the AIDS history. To be able to do so, it is important to seize the opportunities offered by the new funding model of the Global Fund, the investment cases and the revision of the national strategic plans. These will lay in 2015 the foundations of ambitious and visionary targets that will enable us to go to scale from now to 2020.”
“Early initiation of HIV treatment is key. We can now make the difference, save lives and prevent new HIV infections, even eliminate HIV in the upcoming generation. I pledge to mobilize, once back home, the AIDS community so that we urgently decide what to do for all Mauritanians living with HIV to have early access to HIV treatment.”
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