During the regional workshop to strengthen awareness of routine viral load testing in Panama, ITPC-LACTA coordinated this statement below, directed at the Venezuelan government and international donors.
We, the undersigned, gathered in Panama at the “Regional Workshop on Strengthening Awareness of Routine Testing Viral Load” and the launch of the ITPC Advocacy for Community Treatment (ACT) Toolkit, activists, members of regional and national networks of people living with HIV, raise grave serious concerns for people living with HIV in Venezuela.
To the Venezuelan Government and International Cooperation Agencies we are concerned that:
- Over the past year there have been serious problems of supply of antiretroviral (ARV) treatment. Intermittent absences of atazanavir, raltegravir, ritonavir, nevirapine, efavirenz, rilpivirine, tenofovir, emtricitabine and abacavir have been exacerbated. Interruptions and unscheduled changes in treatment endangers the lives of people living with HIV.
- The lack of supply of antiretroviral drugs and reagents makes it impossible to control the HIV / AIDS epidemic in the country. It also makes it difficult to control the transmission of the virus from the mother to her child, and in the general population.
- At present, Venezuela does not follow international HIV treatment guidelines, preventing people living with HIV from accessing the advances in medical science and technology available in the world.
- Families suffer from the absence of infant formulas during the first year of life, the shortage of drugs for the treatment of opportunistic infections, and difficulties accessing tests for HIV diagnosis and follow-up.
We demand that the authorities to take urgent steps to address this situation. We call on the government to ensure the right to life and full development of all people living with HIV in Venezuela. We urge the government to:
- Provide uninterrupted antiretroviral treatment to all people living with HIV in Venezuela.
- Fulfil your obligations under the Sustainable Development Objectives (SDGs) within the framework of Agenda 2030, an agreement signed by Venezuela in the framework of the General Assembly of the United Nations.
- Recognize that ART is life for people living with HIV.
We call on international cooperation agencies for their direct involvement to support Venezuelan civil society in supporting their right to health and life.
We show our solidarity with our Venezuelan brothers and sisters living with HIV. We urge the International Community to intervene and take action to safeguard the life and health of our brothers and sisters.
Adi Mai Cawich- Belize
Letis Hernandez – Honduras
Rosibel Zuñiga – Costa Rica
Consuelo Raymundo – El Salvador
Karina Bravo – Ecuador
Fernando Chujutalli – Peru
Felix Reyes – Republica Dominicana
Ramon Acevedo – Republica Dominica
Jose Jimenez – Guatemala
Guadalupe Manzanares – Guatemala
Oscar Guzman – Guatemala
Silvia Martinez – Nicaragua
Devon Gabourel – Jamaica
Kenyatta Barnaby – Jamaica
Miguel Sanchez – Panama
Jaime Luna – Panama
Otoniel Ramirez – El Salvador
Alma de Leon – Guatemala
Bactrin Killingo – Kenya
Julia Powell – London