Target: Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS)
Goal: Continue further action on treating the global HIV/AIDS epidemic
There is a new breakthrough in the global fight against HIV and AIDS, the United Nations explained recently. Over the past 10 years, new cases of infection have dropped substantially, and countries in Africa—those most commonly hit the hardest—are showing the most improvement. “We are moving from despair to hope,” explained Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), the leading advocacy group tasked with eliminating the threat of HIV/AIDS worldwide.
According to Sidibe, because of “a more targeted, pragmatic approach” to testing and treatment (including focusing on groups of high-risk individuals like gay men, drug addicts and prostitutes) record numbers of people are now receiving lifesaving antiretroviral medication. But as more people receive proper treatment, more people will be living with HIV/AIDS; and as this number increases so too does the need for medication and the issue of of funding the demand takes center stage.
Additionally, in regions of Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East, aid is oftentimes held back by current laws and customs. For example, homosexuality is illegal in many Muslim countries in North Africa and the Middle East, so many bi-sexual and gay men cannot risk admitting to infection. In Central Asia and Eastern Europe, where new cases are largely motivated by heroin use, methadone treatment is often illegal. If addicts cannot be treated for their addiction, they may never be fully out of risk of contracting or spreading HIV.
Despite a promising turn of events, it is still clear that the fight against HIV/AIDS cannot be forgotten or weakened. To encourage UNAIDS to continue its work in treating HIV/AIDS around the world, please sign the petition below.
Dear Mr. Sidibe,
Congratulations, the fight against HIV and AIDS has reached a critical breakthrough. Right now, record numbers of people all around the world are receiving lifesaving treatment for this deadly and contagious disease. Because of the actions of UNAIDS and supporting organizations, countless people have been saved in countries most commonly hit the hardest with the epidemic.
But even with this success, the battle is not yet finished. In areas of Central Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East new infections are rising and treatment is often stymied. UNAIDS must not stop now. It is because of this that I write to you—to encourage UNAIDS and its affiliate organizations to continue working towards a world free of this disease. We are now one step closer to that finish line.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Mission of the United States, Geneva