Currently, a total of 38 million people
worldwide are living with HIV. Yet, in 2019, nearly half of them (about 12
million people) did not have access to life-saving anti-retroviral therapy. The
coronavirus pandemic has created further challenges to the AIDS response. In
part, previous measures have been undone by the crisis. Against this
background, on May 6, 2021, the European Parliament tabled a resolution on accelerating progress and tackling inequalities
so that AIDS no longer poses a threat to public health by 2030.
Demands of the European Parliament
MEPs call on the EC to address AIDS as a
global public health crisis and to speed up all efforts to combat the disease.
The resolution focuses on the following key areas: expansion of preventive and
curative measures as well as securing financial resources.
Expansion of comprehensive care
MEPs believe that international cooperation
and development work, especially with Africa, is necessary to build strong and
resilient health systems. The aim is to ensure general and, above all,
comprehensive health care for HIV treatment. In this context, the resolution
also explicitly addresses the low treatment rate of children living with HIV
and access to HIV services for pregnant women and nursing mothers.
The expansion of health research is also
seen as a priority: EU member states are called upon to promote real-time data
collection and to facilitate accessible, affordable diagnostic, therapeutic and
vaccine candidates for HIV as well as for other poverty-related and neglected
Access to all areas of life
Furthermore, the social stigmatisation of
people infected with HIV or suffering from AIDS is to be combated. They should
also be given access to sexual and reproductive health, equitable and
affordable health care, quality education, the labour market as well as all
areas of public life.
In order to address AIDS/HIV as a global
challenge, the European Parliament called for sufficient funding to be secured
and for increased investment to be made in UNAIDS and the Global Fund for
fighting AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
MEPs have their sights set on a United
Nations meeting on HIV/AIDS as the next step in implementing the resolution.
This will be held from June 8 - 10, 2021. There, the forward-looking measures
and financial commitments of the resolution are to be included as binding
objectives in the policy statement.