Message: World Aids Day 1 December 2017

Message: World Aids Day 1 December 2017

The Minority Front has a proud history of bringing the Department of Health officials’ programmes and workshops in local communities like Chatsworth and Phoenix. The Minority Front leader was the first MP in 1999 to motion Parliament that HIV/AIDS should be made notifiable in Schedule 13 of the register. We could have planned better with reliable statistics.

We take this opportunity to thank all role-players and volunteers who have assisted the Minority Front in community outreach programmes in schools and NGOs.

With World Aids Day celebrated annually worldwide, we, and the global community commemorates this day on 1st December 2017. This day is observed to honour those persons who have succumbed to AIDS. Also, we as the global community communicate and commit our on-going assistance to those who are living with or at risk for HIV. The day is also to celebrate the caregivers, families, friends and communities that provide invaluable support.

As we attempt to address HIV/AIDS, we must increase the impact to move it from crises towards control and indicates that we have to accelerate progress to find a way to end this public health threat, both here in South and around the world. Therefore, we have to increase impact through transparency, accountability and partnerships, so that we can attain our goals.

The impact on HIV/AIDS, through transparency, can be achieved by spending more time doing work than worrying about the financial tracking of the fight. Developing governments have a collective responsibility to citizens for development outcomes and transparency of financial flows, ie they must publish budgets. Resources have to be better targeted to needs so that interventions can be tailored and funds can be used wisely to save more lives. By attracting creative minds to solve complex problems we must bring together economic, demographic, health, and financial data to understand the development problems and resources needed to solve them. More effort is therefore required to attract data savy, service-minded people to navigate the data and understand why such data is important.

Accountability, in the global response to HIV/AIDS, is an important social justice because effective systems of accountability strengthens the quality, accessibility and equitable delivery of HIV/AIDS related services. When more information about aid flows are available to citizens, then governments are held accountable for using funds well, which impacts on the fight. Proper planning is required to plan interventions and allocate resources successfully. The global fight on HIV/Aids also centres on building bases of support to validate with hard data that the fight is not done even though global advocates are moving on to other issues. By promoting innovation and learning from failure, allows us to use negative results to build on lessons, to do better in future and help others avoid making the same mistakes. For progress towards goals, commitments or responsibilities to be assessed, those responsible for action in these areas have to account to the public.

As the fight against HIV and AIDS moves to a long-term response, the role of civil society organizations (CSOs), including community-based, non-governmental and faith-based organizations in HIV and AIDS prevention, care and support efforts becomes even more important. Civil society’s advocacy and service delivery plays a critical role in HIV/AIDS. Without civil society, fewer services would be available to identified populations, people in remote areas would have to travel further for services and many of the gains made in treatment because of civil society advocacy would not exist.

Civil society is engaged include, but are not limited to, increasing accountability and transparency of a government’s national commitments and planned results; reducing legal and policy structural barriers to a quality HIV response; reducing stigma and discrimination for key populations; supporting civil society networks/coalitions; and promoting the ability of citizens to recognize and demand quality services in their communities

No one country or entity alone can end the AIDS epidemic, therefore it is vital that partnerships between  governments, the private sector, philanthropic organizations, multilateral institutions, civil society and faith-based organizations, people living with HIV and many others in this work, are formed. This collective effort is the only way to expect to reduce the future costs required to sustain the HIV/AIDS response.

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