Patrick attended a STOPAIDS World AIDS day parliamentary event on 1 December 2016 and met with youth activists from the It Ain’t Over campaign. The It Ain’t Over campaign raises awareness about the ongoing impact of HIV and AIDS globally and mobilises young people to advocate for increased political will and financial contribution to the global HIV and AIDS response.
Enormous progress has been made in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Today, a record 18 million people living with HIV are on treatment and we have the tools to prevent the epidemic from spreading. But as the It Ain’t Over campaign highlights – we are falling short of the Sustainable Development Goal target of ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. In 2015, 2.1 million people were infected with HIV – a number that has decreased very little over the last five years.
At this critical juncture, donor priorities are shifting and international funding for HIV and AIDS has fallen with a 13% decrease between 2014 and 2015. The UK government pledged £1.1 billion to the Global Fund to fight TB, HIV/AIDS and Malaria in September 2016. However, DFID’s HIV position paper expired in 2015 and there are no plans to renew it. DFID has also decreased ministerial engagement in international forums where HIV and AIDS is discussed – sending no UK-based ministers or civil servants to the last two International Aids Conferences.
Patrick said “I’m proud to support the It Ain’t Over campaign which calls attention to the impact HIV and AIDS continues to have on the lives of millions of people around the world. The UK government’s pledged contribution to the Global Fund must be backed up with programmatic expertise and political will.’”
Director of STOPAIDS, Mike Podmore said “It is heartening to see parliamentarians like Patrick Grady MP continue to show their support for UK leadership within the HIV and AIDS response. In the absence of a written DFID position on HIV and AIDS, STOPAIDS and the It Ain’t Over campaign have called on the UK government to undertake a stocktake review of its contribution to the global HIV response in order to assess whether the UK is on track to meeting its international commitments on HIV and AIDS”
Monday 1st December marks the 28th anniversary of World AIDS Day, a day when activists and people living with HIV from around the world come together in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died.
STOPAIDS is the network of 80 UK agencies working since 1986 to secure an effective global response to HIV and AIDS. www.stopaids.org.uk