Fighting HIV/AIDS: Human-Rights Focused Advocacy Is More Critical Than Ever
This post originally appeared on Health Affairs. We are at an interesting and uncertain time in global health. The political climate is, to put it mildly, dynamic. One need only look at the United States, historically the largest donor to the global AIDS response, to see how precarious progress is at the moment. The Trump administration outlined devastating budget cuts that, if enacted, could erode progress, lay the groundwork for further inequities, and hurt those who are already most vulnerable to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Source: FCAA (Funders Concerned About AIDS) Data Spotlight: HIV Philanthropy for Advocacy & Human Rights, April 2017
While the United States is not the only global donor, other bilateral and multilateral HIV and AIDS funding has been flat lining in recent years. A recent Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation/UNAIDS study indicates that donor government funding for HIV declined by 7 percent in 2016, falling to its lowest level in six years.
In the fight against HIV and AIDS, advocacy is more critical than ever. Often, advocacy is the strongest lever to address the kinds of challenges we now face. It is also an arena in which philanthropy has made important contributions.
Since the early days of the AIDS epidemic, philanthropic efforts have helped to drive scientific and therapeutic advancements, change policies and public opinion, and raise the voices of, and increase protections for, those most vulnerable to HIV and AIDS.
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