Come rain or shine, activists fight back at the High-level Meeting on Ending AIDS

It’s been a challenging but inspiring week in New York at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS, where world leaders and diplomats gathered to approve a Political Declaration that will guide the global response to the HIV epidemic for the next five years.

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Activism delivers real impact at the 2016 PEPFAR COP Reviews

Both last week and this week, Health GAP staff and allies have been in Johannesburg, South Africa for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Country Operational Plan (COP) Reviews. These two rounds of three-day intensive meetings with PEPFAR staff, representatives from country governments, civil society, UNAIDS, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the World Health Organization, will determine how billions of dollars in funding for HIV treatment and prevention will be spent between 2016 and 2017 in some of the highest burden countries and communities around the world.

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Financing our AIDS Response: Letter from Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director

[In response to this recent blog from Health GAP's Matthew Kavanagh.]

Dear Matthew,

Thanks for your continued engagement.  Earlier this week I wrote to all of our UNAIDS country directors with some key points on the AIDS response that I also want to share with you.  I hope this helps clarify exactly where UNAIDS stands on the resources needed to end the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat in all populations: 
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Getting More PEPFAR Funds to Clinics and Communities in Malawi and Zimbabwe

2016 Calls for a different kind of PEPFAR response—less technical assistance and mentoring and more front-line interventions to implement Test & Start this year

What portion of funds from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief for “treatment” goes to address the major front-line barriers keeping people living with HIV from getting on treatment and achieving viral suppression?  In most countries major investments are made in ARVs and other drugs, front line health workers, and core costs to keep facilities going. In some countries significant investment is also made outside the clinic in community-based health workers and systems to support the ART program—and here and there some funding goes to accountability work. In Malawi and Zimbabwe, however, more focus is needed on front-line needs—more of the funding needs to directly reach people living with HIV. The countries have different needs, yet there are some similarities in the PEPFAR programs that should be addressed for 2016.

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U.S.'s Newest IP Gunship Diplomacy in Colombia - Same Threats with Dollars not Bullets

It used to be that when the U.S. wanted to exert its influence or extend the imperial power of its businesses in Latin America, it would resort to gunships. In the old days, the raw use of naked armed power needed little justification. In the more modern era of proxy wars, the U.S. Is more likely to send money and arms, as it has done consistently with Colombia for its War on Drugs. The latest tranche of funding for Colombia, designed to enable peace talks – if you will, a cease-fire in the War on Drugs – is the $450 million Paz Colombia proposal before Congress.  

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