PITCH Policy Summit on sustainability HIV AIDS response in SDG era

PITCH Policy Summit on sustainability HIV AIDS response in SDG era

Today, Aidsfonds director Mark Vermeulen opened the PITCH Policy Summit on sustainability of the HIV and Aids response in the SDG era in Kyiv. The latest report conducted by PITCH and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine was presented to Nataliia Nizova, advisor to vice-prime minister, stating that Ukraine demonstrates what can be achieved with inspiring political leadership and effective partnerships between government, civil society and technical agencies. 

“I would like to take this opportunity to praise the authorities and Ukrainian civil society for the close cooperation that has been put in place to provide services to marginalised people and ensure that the rights-based approach is becoming firmly rooted in Ukraine’s public health system. The Ukraine Health Ministry is instrumental in implementing Universal Health Care in such an inclusive manner". 

Power of civil society

PITCH is demonstrating the power of civil society in making policies that make the AIDS response more inclusive and efficient. Over the past three years, thanks to the support of the Dutch government, the Partnership has built a strong global movement contributing to ensuring sufficient funding for HIV and communities, addressing discriminative laws and policies and advocating for HIV in the context of human rights and universal health coverage. In Ukraine, a strong network of local partners was created through PITCH, working directly with sex workers and people who use drugs. The network successfully advocated for equal rights, access to HIV-services and sexual and reproductive rights.

Mark Vermeulen: “We should seize the  opportunity and the resources that we have with PITCH to continue to build new coalitions that advocate for better health and rights, leaving no one behind”.


He furthermore said that we are at a critical crossroad in the global HIV response. As UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said recently: “the direction taken now may determine whether the AIDS-epidemic can be ended by 2030, or if future generations will have to continue the battle”. While significant successes have been achieved in the past four decades responding to HIV globally, many critical barriers remain to achieve the end of AIDS, fueled by increased conservatism and polarization in many countries in the world.

Funding for HIV and AIDS is increasingly under pressure. International assistance by donors is decreasing, while lower and middle-income countries struggle to make the transition. At the same time, we are all working in a new global political context, shaped by the Sustainable Development Goals, setting the agenda for the Universal Health Coverage.

"Let’s be focused in our advocacy . Let’s engage with the health, human rights, and development agenda’s while bringing our unique added value". Mark Vermeulen, PITCH Policy Summit, Kyiv 2019.


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