Three Demands this World AIDS Day

November 30, 2020

World AIDS Day demands a lot of many of us. We must balance grief, worry and mourning with clarion calls to action and demands for accountability. On this day of private meaning and public mobilization, AVAC brings you a letter—to you, whoever and wherever you are, to all the leaders on the frontlines, in the halls of power and in the homes where caretaking and community mobilization happen. You can read our Letter to the World here.

In this letter, we’ve honed in on three things that feel essential to this present moment and the coming year:

1) Program for choice. For the first time in history, it is possible to build a choice-based biomedical HIV prevention program that offers a range of options. Today’s announcement that the World Health Organization has pre-qualified the Dapivirine Vaginal Ring brings this reality one step closer. But the full potential of choice-based programs depends on a client-centered, community-designed approach where people, not providers, decide what works for them.

2) Pay for the healthcare workforce to achieve health equity. From community contact tracers to counselors, community health workers, frontline nurses and physicians, it is essential to invest in well-paid, well-trained health workers who come from and have the trust of the communities hardest hit by health inequities.

3) Pursue just, equitable access for COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and community-led prevention. Each passing day brings news from COVID-19 vaccine trials, much of it highly encouraging. There is not a minute to lose in taking steps that guarantee new innovations—for COVID and HIV—will be available and affordable to all who need them.

Check out our full letter to learn more about how AVAC thinks these priorities can be achieved. And write us back——what do you care about and want to fight for? We’re here and listening and looking forward to continued advocacy together.