As preparation for the first meeting of the HIV TB Global Leaders' Forum at the United Nations on June 9, 2008, the Forum has put out a ‘call for action’ that reminds governments of the seriousness of the HIV-TB link and what actions they must take.
The HIV TB Global Leaders' Forum which will hold its first meeting at the United Nations in New York on June 9, 2008, has put out a ‘call for action’ to alert governments around the world about the seriousness of the problem and invite feedback.
The text of the message is as follows:
The HIV TB Global Leaders’ Forum
* Recalling the General Assembly Political Resolution on AIDS (2006) emphasising the need for accelerated scale-up of collaborative activities on tuberculosis and HIV, the Millennium Development Goal targets for TB, and the World Health Assembly Resolution (2007), request countries to immediately address extensively drug-resistant TB and HIV-related TB as the highest health priorities in line with the Global Plan to Stop TB 2006-2015;
* Concerned that every three minutes a person living with HIV dies of TB;
* Noting that HIV and TB are major constraints for socio-economic development and that investing in joint TB and HIV/AIDS interventions will contribute positively to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals on poverty reduction by keeping people healthy and productive;
* Recognising the importance of investments in a strong domestic health system in the delivery of universal TB and HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services;
* Mindful of global security issues and the new challenges associated with the emergence of drug resistant strains of TB that are particularly lethal in populations with high rates of HIV infection;
* Aware of the urgent need for new drugs, diagnostics and vaccines that are appropriate for people with HIV TB co-infection;
* Acknowledging there is an urgent need for community influencers and leaders to understand the critical aspects of TB prevention and care in communities to fight stigma and discrimination, and to provide an enabling environment for patients to access and utilise treatment services with human dignity;
* Confirming that saving lives among people living with HIV and cutting mortality associated with TB requires bold leadership at all levels;
Urges all UN member States, and calls on organisations of the United Nations system; inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations, the corporate sector, foundations, donors and the international community as a whole, to reaffirm their commitment to the global fight against HIV TB and in country statements, during remarks, roundtables and discussions to:
* Commit the resources necessary to halve the number of people living with HIV who die unnecessarily of TB annually by 2015;
* Support TB prevention diagnosis, and treatment within the context of universal access and include TB prevention, diagnostics, treatment and adherence in all national HIV action frameworks and strategies;
* Prevent unnecessary deaths by including the goal of reducing TB mortality in people living with HIV as part of the indicators in national target setting;
* Promote a person-centred approach that is "one life-two diseases"; and ensure PLHIV are able to attend health services without fear of contracting TB;
* Mobilise communities and wider civil society affected by HIV in the TB response;
* Include systematically TB and HIV TB as part of broader development and poverty reduction strategies and strengthen health systems to be able to effectively respond to the need
* Accelerate research and to promote the development of better tools -drugs, diagnostics and a vaccine - for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of TB, in particular for those living with HIV.
Requests the Secretary General (through his Special Envoy to Stop TB):
* To report regularly on progress in addressing HIV TB to the UN General Assembly Special Session on the HIV/AIDS Epidemic, High Level Meetings on HIV/AIDS and other important meetings convened by the United Nations system;
* To report back on progress at the Stop TB Partnership Partner's Forum to be held in March 2009 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Please send comments on this call for action no later than May 15, 2008 to:
(Courtesy AIDS INDIA)