Aidsfonds annual Magazine 2017
The AIDS response has reached a crucial tipping point: we either achieve an AIDS-free world or we will see the epidemic escalate once again.
We can definitively stop the epidemic, but only if we accelerate our efforts now. However, at present, the global attention and funding for the AIDS response are declining. And, due to the rise of conservatism and populism, groups who are more vulnerable to HIV face a growing number of barriers to accessing accurate information and HIV prevention and healthcare services. Because of criminalisation of sex work and homosexuality, as well as stigmatisation and discrimination of young people and (pregnant) women living with HIV, the barriers to information and care are impedingly high for these populations. In some countries in Eastern Europe and Russia, we even see new HIV hotspots developing.
Our activities directly contribute to achieving our objectives. We invest in testing and immediate treatment, which has led to a breakthrough in the AIDS response: Swaziland, one of the most affected countries in the world, saw a drop in the number of new HIV infections by nearly 50 per cent. Violation of human rights is a major barrier to the AIDS response because it means we cannot reach people with quality education and individual care. That’s why we have stood up against injustice and together with partner organisations, we have lowered these barriers. As a result, in Uganda, nearly 2,000 children were saved by HIV medication in the past two years. In 2017, we also facilitated the implementation of pioneering scientific research that will bring us closer to eventually finding a cure for HIV and will also provide us with data to support our messaging. We have supported civil society organisations, which brought about a price cut of ART (antiretroviral therapy) in low-income countries from ca €10,000 annually to less than €65. And also thanks to our awareness-raising and lobbying activities, support in Dutch society for the HIV prevention medicine PrEP to be covered by health insurance companies in The Netherlands increased, and an 80 per cent price cut was realised. This is how our vision of zero new HIV infections in The Netherlands in five years time and an AIDS-free world by 2030 is beginning to become a reality.
This Annual Magazine contains a selection of our major projects and achievements in 2017.