Ether, an advanced HIV patient, with her medication in her hands, in a female ward at Nsanje District Hospital, Malawi.
HIV/AIDS

MSF statement on the final declaration of the UN HLM on HIV/AIDS

“The final version 5th UN Declaration on AIDS is a disappointing step in the fight against this killing disease and very far from what was desperately needed today. While AIDS remains the leading cause of death among adolescent and young African women, Member States have shown the disregard for the lives of so many people by blocking and watering down key parts of the declaration on several vital issues,”  says Dr. Nomkhosi Mavuso, MSF Medical Representative, South Africa.

Advanced HIV Anastancia is being discharged from TB ward at Nsanje district hospital.
Anastancia is being discharged from TB ward at Nsanje district hospital. Anastancia is a 25 year old advanced HIV patient that went through the Rapid Assessment Unit (RAU) at Nsanje district hospital for point of care tests and CD4 count which was 189 cells. 
Isabel Corthier/MSF

“The declaration waters down critical texts addressing Intellectual property (IP), blocking facilitated access to lifesaving medicine and it doesn’t recognize the rights and the urgent needs of some the most vulnerable and marginalized categories of people affected by AIDS. It also fails to value enough the critical work of communities and civil society organisations in the response. Even more problematically, the declaration fails to address why people continue to die from advanced HIV and the leading causes of death: TB but also severe bacterial and fungal infections.  

Members of the support group at Ndamera Health Centre in Nsanje district going through some educational brochures provided by MSF health promoters for advanced HIV
Some of the members of the support group at Ndamera Health Centre in Nsanje district going through some educational brochures provided by MSF health promoters. In the picture, members are appreciating danger sign messages explained in the brochures. 
Isabel Corthier/MSF

The target of reducing HIV deaths below 250,000 by 2025 will simply not be met without interventions to prevent, diagnose and treat advanced HIV and addressing delayed start and interruption of care and treatment failure. Member States seem to have forgotten that the previous UNAIDS target of less than 500,000 HIV-related deaths by 2020 has not been achieved and their new commitments are simply very far from the level of the urgency and the mobilization of resources that this issue would require. Too many people will continue to die from AIDS if these issues are not drastically and urgently addressed”.

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Press Release 10 December 2021