On Monday, the UN Mission co-facilitators Zambia and Switzerland released the Zero Draft of the political declaration for the United Nations High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS (HLM). In the days since, civil society organizations have provided extensive feedback to defend and strengthen points critical to the many communities affected by the global HIV response. In particular, MSMGF contributed to and supports the Civil Society Priorities and the Civil Society Statement of Concern.
In addition, MSMGF together with members of the Global Platform to Fast Track the HIV and Human Rights Responses Among Gay, Bisexual Men and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men, Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCOM), Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC), and Global Network for Sex Work Projects (NSWP) consolidated comments to specifically address the concerns of key populations in the global HIV response. We used the consolidated comments to present 5 critical priorities for the Zero Draft. We hope and expect these points will be considered and defended by UN member states in the first round of Zero Draft negotiations (“reading”) this Monday, April 25th in New York City:
- Key populations should be named throughout the document, and should conform to the definition used by the World Health Organization, that key populations are men who have sex with men, sex workers, people who inject drugs, transgender people, migrants, prisoners, and young people. All the key populations should, at a minimum, be named in current points # 11, 26, 29, 31, 35, 36, 52, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, and 67.
- Key populations must be prioritized not only for combination prevention services, but also for comprehensive care and treatment programming and funding.
- We endorse the emphasis on gender equality embodied in SDG 5 and wish to stress the importance of addressing gender identity and sexuality issues in relation to men who have sex with men, sex workers and transgender people.
- Member States should eliminate discriminatory laws, policies and practices directed at people living with HIV, HIV transmission, exposure, and non-disclosure, homosexuality, gender non-conformity, sex work, and drug use.
- Community-based and community-led responses to the HIV epidemic should be prioritized and fully funded by national governments. This approach is in alignment with WHO normative guidance, including guidance issued for men who have sex with men, sex workers, people who use drugs, and transgender people.
For reference, MSMGF released a community update earlier this week to describe the early highlights of the Zero Draft and important next steps for advocates. Please send your questions and reactions to Nadia Rafif, Director of Policy (firstname.lastname@example.org). We will continue to provide updates on additional entry points for conducting HLM advocacy between now and June.
A downloadable PDF version of this announcement is on the MSMGF website here.