Aidsfonds calling for greater community involvement at TB high level meeting

Aidsfonds calling for greater community involvement at TB high level meeting

At the first ever High Level Meeting on Tuberculosis (TB) during the UN General Assembly in New York last week, Aidsfonds brought to the forefront the critical importance of communities in leaving no one behind and ensuring an integrated and effective HIV and TB response, based on the needs of people most affected, including key populations.

Speakers at the high level meeting

Side-event

During our side event “Leave no one behind”, Anton Basenko from Ukraine, a person living with HIV and using drugs, shared with the audience that no progress on HIV or TB can be achieved without real and meaningful involvement of communities.

He also stressed: “Domestic funding is not the magic bullet. Many people will still be left behind, and there is a continued responsibility of international donors such as PEPFAR and Global Fund to make sure communities are sufficiently invested in. While Ukraine is often considered a success story in terms of the government’s role in responding to HIV and TB and reaching key populations, only since 2017 are key population representatives part of the country coordinating mechanism of the Global Fund."

 

"HIV and TB are very interlinked, so why is this not the case for the response to them?"

Marijke Wijnroks - Chief of Staff of the Global Fund

The event further called for a stronger integration of HIV and TB services. PEPFAR Ambassador Debbi Birx reminded us that it is no longer acceptable to talk about HIV and TB seperately. Marijke Wijnroks, Chief of Staff of the Global Fund also emphasized the crucial need for better TB and HIV integration, especially considering that TB is still the leading cause of death for people living with HIV. “The two diseases are very interlinked, so why is this not the case for the response to them?”

Other speakers at the event included Eric Goosby, UN Special Envoy on Tuberculosis, Dr. Tedros, Director General of the World Health Organization, Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, Paul Blokhuis, State Secretary for Health in the Netherlands and Kitty van Wezenbeek, Executive Director of KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation. The event was co-organized by Aidsfonds, AFEW International, FIND, GFAN, KNCV, UNAIDS, and WHO.

 

Political declaration

A political declaration was adopted at the High Level Meeting on Tuberculosis, with a number of important commitments, including the development of community-based health services through approaches protecting and promoting human rights and integrated care for HIV/AIDS.

 

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