18
Jul

Thousands of activists march to international AIDS conference in Durban

Today over 8000 activists from South Africa and across the globe took to Durban’s streets for the 21st International AIDS Conference. Activists presented their demands to key political decision makers in the fight against AIDS, including South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, U.S. Ambassador Patrick Gaspard and Global AIDS Ambassador Deborah Birx and others.

Just weeks ago, world leaders gathered at the United Nations and promised to “end AIDS” by 2030, yet 20 million of the 37 million people with HIV do not have access to treatment, over one million people die every year of the treatable and preventable disease and, for the first  time, HIV funding from rich countries fell substantially in 2015.

In 2000, activists stormed the International AIDS Conference in Durban and forced a revolution in the response to HIV at a time when the consensus was AIDS treatment for Africa was not feasible. Returning to Durban 16 years later, activists applauded the dramatic advances in HIV science but pledged to overturn a new consensus barring access to that science for so many—pessimism about funding and magical thinking about “ending” AIDS with business as usual.

Treatment Action Campaign “Call to Action!” available here.

Original news piece available at TAC.org.za