A road map to increase faith-based organizations’ work in providing life-preserving treatment, especially in low-income countries and among marginalized populations in all parts of the world, is a key outcome of a consultation to expand access to treatment for people living with HIV, co-organized by Caritas Internationalis and UNAIDS. The meeting was co-sponsored by the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA), among others.
“We are entering a new phase where we can see the beginning of the end of AIDS,” said Dr Luiz Loures, Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director Programme, UNAIDS. “The faith communities have the scale, and have the means to move us forward. You care about dignity of the person – and it is only this unique combination of access to drugs and dignity that can provide the necessary drive to reach the end of AIDS.”
Outcomes of the meeting include commitments by UNAIDS and other international agencies to facilitate national dialogues on the role of faith-based organizations in the HIV response and on increased access to funding and resources for this scale up. In addition, more research on results of faith-based HIV treatment programs was highlighted as a priority, as well as strategic communication about the good work done by these organizations, and more intensive networking and sharing of good practice models.