On Universal Health Coverage Day, 12 December 2022, on the eve of Thailand Chairing the 51st UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board in Chiang Mai, 13-16 December, the coalition of Thai NGOs working on HIV calls for sustainability of key populations-led services.
As part of the Delegates welcome pack, organised by APCOM, the Asia Pacific representative on the NGO Delegation of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board, the 12 organisations highlighted and calls for:
1. The domestic budget for HIV is not sufficient for the country to attain the Ending AIDS by 2030 goal
- There is no budget to support RRTTPR (Reach-Recruit-Test-Treat-Prevent-Retain) for the cross-border migrant population
- There is no/low budget to support prevention and resolution of problems in the younger generation
(both in and outside the school system), or for women, a vulnerable group that is not a key population per se
2. The budget for combatting stigma and discrimination (S&D) is less compared to other components of the HIV/AIDS budget. Most of the funding for reducing S&D comes from foreign donors. The MOPH budget for this area is set at a relatively low level. Even though there has been devolution of authority and budget to the local level, the priority for funding HIV prevention (including S&D reduction) is a relatively low priority, if included in the budget at all.
3. The country does not have policies, regulations, or rules to support government budgeting for the community setting.
4. Many of the smaller NGOs and CSOs still do not have access to domestic budget support (e.g. for capacity development/certifying potential/registration/receiving budget).
As part of the Welcome Pack information leaflet on the 12 organisations was included, as well as APCOM and NAPUD Call for Strengthening Community Leadership to end AIDS as a Public Health Threat by 2030 in Asia and the Pacific.
Ahead of the 51st PCB, the APCOM and NAPUD draw the attention of Member States and stakeholders on critical actions to be prioritized to advance the HIV response in Asia and the Pacific and strengthen the leadership of communities at the regional and country levels to enable them to play a critical role to leave no one behind, and importantly that the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) must be sufficiently resourced in order to:
- Increase availability, quality and suitability of services for HIV treatment, testing and prevention for key populations, people living with HIV and young people.
- Accelerate scale up of innovations including key population-led health services and new technologies.
- Tackle the root causes of HIV vulnerability, especially inequalities and socio-economic marginalization.
- Reform laws, policies and practices to tackle stigma, discrimination and exclusion faced by people living with HIV and by key populations.
- Ensure that key populations are integrated in development of policies and programmes and that interventions are tailored and targeted to the specific needs of diverse key populations;
- Ensure that there are explicit data to capture the needs of the key populations and people living with HIV by strengthening community-led monitoring;
- Allocate investment to build and strengthen the capacity and skills of community-led organizations to enable them to advocate for the removal of social and legal barriers and to deliver HIV services;
- Identify and implement regional mechanisms to fund regional networks to enable them to provide support to country-level communities.