Voices and views

Treatment strategies will not succeed if prevention efforts are failing, as there will always be more people requiring treatment. Prevention strategies will not succeed if treatments are not accessible. Where treatments are accessible, the nexus between AIDS and death is broken. Hope is generated and stigma is reduced. As a result, people are more willing to come forward for testing and more likely to access prevention services.

Statement of Commitment to Building a Comprehensive Global HIV/AIDS Response, released by the coalition for Joint Advocacy on HIV/AIDS, Treatments, Microbicides and Vaccines at Bangkok, 2004.

Failure number one is the lack of political will shared by the North and the South… Currently there is just USD $650 million being spent on AIDS vaccine research each year and close to 60 percent of those funds are coming from the United States. This effort is under-resourced.

Chrispus Kiyonga, Minister without Portfolio, Uganda (former chair of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria), at Meet the Leaders Session on AIDS Vaccines, July 15 2004.

More doctors leave Ethiopia each year than are being trained in their medical schools; there are more Guyanan nurses working in the UK National Health Service than in Guyana. In easing our own [developed country] capacity constraints, we are adding to theirs. AIDS needs an emergency response, but this response should be complemented by investment in the human and physical needs of the health sectors of the developing country.

Princess Mabel van Oranje, Open Society Institute, plenary speech, July 12 2004.

I cannot help but feel, given the current levels of new infections, that the quest for a vaccine must lie at the heart of this response. The massive assault [of the epidemic] on women has to be one of the ways that leaders are driven to their senses and finance a vaccine with the understanding that…for women this is the ultimate salvation.

Stephen Lewis, UN Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Africa at Meet the Leaders Session on AIDS Vaccines, July 15 2004.

The day after tomorrow, the 18th of July, will be the day I turn 86. There could be no better gift than knowing that there is renewed commitment from leaders in every sector of society to take real and urgent action against AIDS. We know what needs to be done—all that is missing is the will to do it. Allow me to enjoy my retirement by showing that you can rise to the challenge.

Nelson Mandela, speech at closing ceremony, July 16 2004.

The three currently available prevention approaches—abstinence, being faithful, and using condoms—while incredibly important are just not enough. Married women or women who do not have control over if they have sex cannot choose abstinence.

Zeda Rosenberg, Chief Executive Officer of the International Partnership for Microbicides, plenary speech, July 15 2004.

When I can work in safe and fair conditions I am free of discrimination, when I am free of labels like: “immoral” or “victim of trafficking”, when I am free from unethical researchers, when I am free to do my job without harassment, violence or breaking the law, when sex work is recognized as work, when we have safety, unity, respect, and our rights, when I am free to choose my own way then I am free to protect myself and others from HIV.

Community Statement, People to People Messages, closing ceremony, July 16 2004.


All articles written by Emily Bass