This World AIDS Day, activists are warning that we are losing ground on HIV as resources are being diverted to the global COVID-19 response. How much we lose is up to us.
The world has what it needs to end AIDS. But the current global health system is too colonial, over-medicalized and top-down to safeguard or significantly increase the gains of the past decades. The path to real change lies in implementing interventions for the WHOLE person and by building localised people-centered health responses.
COVID-19 also brought treatment access gaps to our doorstep, reminding us that in addition to ensuring optimal prevention and treatment, we have to tackle non-biomedical, root causes of disease outcomes. We cannot not overlook inequalities, systemic racism and other social factors that affect HIV outcomes.
We still have to tackle stigma by capturing it, calling it out and intervening. We still have to dismantle affordability barriers. And we still have to adequately support community systems to be more resilient to future shocks. The future requires that we foster supportive self-management, and detach ourselves from the paradigm that quality healthcare can only be facilitated by a medical professional at a hospital.
2020 has been a turbulent year, but we are still in the fight! We stand in solidarity with our global activist family and partners across the world… EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.