Remembering Busi who died on the 12th March this year and all my friends living with HIV.
President Bush today announced he would be asking the US Congress to agree $30billion over the next 5 years. However in the past the US has tied HIV/AIDS funding to abstinence only HIV programmes and in Uganda they have supported anti-gay organisations that prevent access to treatment by members of the LGBT community. In 2006 56% of PEPFAR (Presidents Emergency Plan for Aids Relief) prevention funding (20% of PEPFAR) went to “abstinence until marriage programmes” and 44% went to other programmes such as avoidance and reducing risk behaviour along with condom use BUT no monies went to any condom only promotion programmes. PEPFAR also refuses funding to sex workers by insisting that HIV/AIDS and other health NGOs choose to oppose sex work or receive no funds. The overall result of all the restrictions on funding which ignore the realities of people’s lives, is that there has been a significant increases in HIV contraction particularly amongst women and young people and in countries like Uganda that are recipients of PEPFAR funding.
AIDS activist across the world are calling for universal responsibility and access to medication at affordable costs, an end to all conditional funding that results in exclusion of any group of people and more education to remove myths surrounding HIV/AIDS and the stigmatisation of those living with HIV/AIDS.
Abstaining from Reality: