In 2016 we’ll continue to fight the injustices that surround the AIDS pandemic – stigma and discrimination, unequal access to treatment, gender inequality, apathy. We’ll embrace the New Year with increased determination – to reach the most vulnerable, to increase access to treatment, and to realize the promise of so many young lives.
1. We’ll get more children onto life-saving HIV treatment, and keep them in care.
It’s unacceptable that only 32% of children who need life-saving treatment are currently getting it. We work closely with community-based organizations to identify children most at risk, get them tested and immediately onto treatment, and to provide on-going support and counseling to the child’s family.
2. We’ll reach more of the teenagers and youth at the center of the epidemic today.
AIDS is the number 1 killer of adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa, and the number 2 cause of death worldwide. Our programs directly address the factors that get in the way of testing and treatment for youth, also increasing their confidence and resilience through skills training and peer support, and preventing more young people from becoming infected.
3. We will support girls and young women living with HIV.
Young women in sub-Saharan Africa are 8 times more likely to be infected than young men. We work with communities to fight the factors that put girls and young women at risk, to keep them safe, give them an education, an understanding of their rights, and the dream of a future.
4. We’ll expand the use of the Arts as part of our holistic approach to fighting this epidemic.
It has been truly amazing to witness the impact of the arts – music, yoga, dance – on the lives of children and youth living with HIV. We see children growing in confidence and self-esteem, with stronger sociability and problem-solving skills, better prepared to deal with the hard realities of living with HIV.
5. We will raise our collective voice to build a movement of activists, committed to this fight.
Our power is in collective action. We’ll speak out to keep HIV and AIDS in the headlines, to inspire more people to get involved, to hold governments and large donors accountable, and to stress the urgency of action today.