Washington, D.C. Declaration Calls for Renewed Global Urgency
To Turn the Tide on HIV and End the AIDS Epidemic
Prominent Scientists, Community Advocates, People Living with HIV Urge
Citizens of the World to Unite in Efforts to Begin to End the AIDS Epidemic
10 July 2012 (Washington, D.C.) A declaration calling for global support to end the AIDS epidemic was announced today by the International AIDS Society (IAS) and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). It seeks to build broad support for beginning to end the AIDS epidemic through a 9-point action plan.
The “Washington, D.C. Declaration” will be the official declaration of the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012), the biennial meeting of some 25,000 delegates, which brings together HIV professionals, activists, global and community leaders and people living with HIV. The conference will take place in Washington, D.C. from 22 to 27 July 2012 (www.aids2012.org).
Scientists, politicians, celebrities and all other concerned citizens of the world are urged to sign the declaration at www.dcdeclaration.org or www.2endaids.org, where the full text is also available in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Swahili , Japanese, Hindi and Thai.
The Washington, D.C. declaration calls for:
- An increase in targeted new investments;
- Evidence-based HIV prevention, treatment and care in accord with the human rights of those at greatest risk and in greatest need;
- An end to stigma, discrimination, legal sanctions and human rights abuses against those living with and at risk for HIV;
- Marked increases in HIV testing, counseling and linkages to services;
- Treatment for all pregnant and nursing women living with HIV and an end to peri-natal transmission;
- Expanded access to antiretroviral treatment for all in need;
- Identification, diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis (TB);
- Accelerated research on new tools for HIV prevention, treatment, vaccines and a cure;
- Mobilization and meaningful involvement of affected communities.
“In a scenario unthinkable just a few years ago, we now have the knowledge to begin to end AIDS in our lifetimes,” said Dr. Elly Katabira, President of the IAS and International Chair of AIDS 2012. “Yet, at this moment of extraordinary scientific progress and potential, the global response to AIDS faces crippling financial challenges that threaten past success and future progress. Through this declaration, we stand together to call on world leaders across all sectors to provide increased resources, visionary leadership, and a full-fledged commitment to seize the opportunity before us.”
Progress against HIV in recent years has been notable, but incremental. According to UNAIDS, nearly half of people living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries who need treatment have access to it and at least 2.5 million deaths have been averted since 1995. New infections in 2010 totaled 2.7 million, 21% below the number at the peak of the epidemic. Yet, for each person who goes on treatment, two more are infected. At the end of 2010, an estimated 34 million people were living with HIV worldwide, an increase of 17% from 2001– largely the result of greater access to treatment.
Recent scientific advances, including evidence of the dramatic benefits of HIV treatment as prevention, have dramatically altered the landscape of the epidemic, providing a renewed sense of optimism that it is possible to have a much greater impact on these numbers and turn the tide on HIV.
“While we undoubtedly still need a cure and a vaccine, we can save millions of lives with the knowledge we have today if we fully implement the proven strategies we now have to treat those living with HIV and prevent new infections,” said Professor Diane Havlir, MD, chief of the UCSF Division of HIV/AIDS at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center and U.S. Co-Chair of AIDS 2012.
“Our ultimate success, however, depends not just on adequate resources, but also on upholding the human rights and dignity of all those affected by HIV and engaging them fully in our collective response to the epidemic.” Havlir added.
“The Washington, D.C. Declaration will be highly visible throughout the conference in Washington, but it is also an important opportunity for people the world over to stand together and call for the leadership and resources necessary to begin the march toward the end of AIDS,” said Katabira.
About AIDS 2012
The International AIDS Conference is the largest gathering of professionals working in the field of HIV, including people living with HIV and other leaders in the HIV response. It plays a fundamental role in shaping the global response to HIV and in keeping HIV and AIDS on the international political agenda.
AIDS 2012 is convened by the International AIDS Society and the conference’s international partners: the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+); the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO); the International Community of Women with HIV/AIDS (ICW) and the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS): the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC); Sidaction.
The U.S.-based Black AIDS Institute; the District of Columbia Department of Health (DOH); the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA); the National Institutes of Health (NIH); the Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) at the White House; and the U.S. Positive Women’s Network (USPWN) are serving as local partners.
AIDS 2012: Join the conversation
Get the latest conference updates and share your thoughts and ideas through the Conference Facebook and Twitter. We are tweeting – @aids2012 – and hope many of you will tweet along with us, using #AIDS2012 to keep the conversation going. Become a fan of AIDS 2012 on Facebook and stay in touch with the latest conference updates and developments. Please visit www.facebook.com/aids2012 to become a fan. If your group or organization is participating in AIDS 2012, we welcome posts of photos and videos of your work on this page. Tell us why you are coming to Washington and what you hope to gain from AIDS 2012.
About the International AIDS Society
The International AIDS Society (IAS) is the world’s leading independent association of HIV professionals, with over 16,000 members from more than 196 countries working at all levels of the global response to AIDS. Our members include researchers from all disciplines, clinicians, public health and community practitioners on the frontlines of the epidemic, as well as policy and programme planners. The IAS is the custodian of the biennial International AIDS Conference, which will be held in Washington, D.C., in July 2012, and lead organizer of the IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention.
About the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. UCSF experts will be blogging about the AIDS 2012 meeting at http://aids2012.ucsf.edu