The Washington D.C Declaration
TURNING THE TIDE TOGETHER:
A DECLARATION TO END THE AIDS EPIDEMIC
We stand at a unique time in the history of the AIDS epidemic.
Three decades of tenacious community advocacy, research, and service provision have brought the world to the brink of a scenario unthinkable a few short years ago: the possibility of beginning to end the AIDS epidemic in our lifetimes. The losses have been incalculable; the gains extraordinary. But now, through new scientific advances, and societal, political and human rights gains, we have discovered that it is possible to assemble and deliver a package of proven strategies, which, if taken to scale, can turn the tide on AIDS.
We still need a cure and a vaccine. But we must scale up our resources and efforts using the tools we have today to dramatically curb new infections and improve the health of tens of millions of people with HIV/AIDS. Millions of lives will be saved.
Turning the tide against the HIV/AIDS epidemic will take concerted leadership at all levels of government, health systems, academic and non-governmental organizations. We must strive for multi-disciplinary approaches that respect and uphold the human rights and dignity of all people affected by the epidemic. The goal of beginning to end the AIDS epidemic is ambitious, but achievable. It is within our grasp.
To turn this tide together we must:
- Increase targeted new investments. We can save lives, avert infections and reduce the global price-tag of the epidemic with an immediate, strategic increase in investments now. Greater progress will require commensurate funding commitments from global and local donors, including from national governments worldwide.
- Ensure evidence-based HIV prevention, treatment and care in accord with the human rights of those at greatest risk and in greatest need. This includes men who have sex with men, transgender individuals, people who use drugs, vulnerable women, young people, pregnant women living with HIV, and sex workers, as well as other affected populations. No one can be excluded if we are to reach our goal.
- End stigma, discrimination, legal sanctions and human rights abuses against people living with HIV and those at risk. Stigma and discrimination hamper all our efforts and prevent delivery of essential services.
- Markedly increase HIV testing, counseling and linkages to prevention, care and support services. Every person has a right to know her/his HIV status and get the treatment, care and support they need.
- Provide treatment for all pregnant and nursing women living with HIV and end peri-natal transmission: We can support women to stay alive and healthy and to end pediatric HIV infections
- Expand access to antiretroviral treatment to all in need. We cannot end AIDS until the promise of universal access is realized.
- Identify, diagnose and treat TB. Implement TB prevention programmes through integrated HIV and TB services. No more living with HIV but dying of TB.
- Accelerate research on new HIV prevention and treatment tools, including novel approaches such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and microbicides, and on optimal delivery of what we know works, from condoms to treatment as prevention. Expand research for a vaccine and a cure. Research is essential to leading us out of the epidemic.
- Mobilization and meaningful involvement of affected communities must be at the core of collective responses. The leadership of those directly affected is paramount to an effective HIV/AIDS response.
The challenges ahead are great, but the costs of failure will be greater. We call upon all concerned citizens of the global community, in the spirit of solidarity and joint action, and with the fullest engagement of the community of persons living with HIV, to seek renewed urgency to expand the global AIDS fight. We must act on what we know. We must start the end of AIDS—Together.