TLF Share all eyes on UN HLM 2021
(Image: From UNAIDS brochure about the HLM 2021)
In a press release last June 8, the UNAIDS announced that the United Nations general assembly high-level meeting (HLM) on AIDS has adopted a political declaration with a set of new, ambitious targets by 2025: to reduce new HIV infections to under 370,000 and AIDS-related deaths to 250,000, eliminate new HIV infections among children, end pediatric AIDS, and eliminate all forms of HIV-related discrimination.
TLF Share shared the news on its Facebook page as soon as the adoption was made. The organization, represented by its Executive Director Anastacio Marasigan Jr., was one of the official civil society attendees to witness the HLM, which was being cast online. Mr. Marasigan also sits as member of the Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC), representing key affected populations of gay and bisexual men, other men who have sex with men, and transgender women.
On behalf of the secretary of health and PNAC chair, the Department of Health assigned Dr. Maria Rosario Vergeire, undersecretary for public health services, to lead the DOH's delegation to the HLM that included officials from Disease Prevention and Control Bureau, Bureau of International Health Cooperation, and PNAC Secretariat.
Weeks before the HLM, civil society groups around the globe campaigned to bring attention to the HLM, the political declaration, and the 2025 targets. In May, the Bangkok-based APCOM released its 12-item recommendations for meaningful integration of priority needs and concerns of key populations in Asia and the Pacific. TLF Share was a nominee of APCOM's HERO Awards program last year under the community organization category.
TLF Share members also participated in civil society-led signature campaigns in relation to the political declaration as from the Global Network of People Living with HIV, or GNP Plus.
In its news story about the HLM, the New York Times noted "Even with U.N.’s previous goals unmet, delegates tried to water down provisions regarding protections for vulnerable populations and patents for essential drugs." From the UNAIDS press release: "If the international community reaches the targets, 3.6 million new HIV-infections and 1.7 million AIDS-related deaths will be prevented by 2030."