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Faith on the Fast Track: HIV Campaign

The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (now a WCC ecumenical initiative) has campaigned on HIV and AIDS for over 17 years, advocating for access to treatment, eradication of stigma and discrimination, elimination of root causes of vulnerability to HIV transmission, and fulfillment of commitments by governments, intergovernmental organizations, religious leaders, faith organizations and individuals. Much progress has been made during this period to extend access to treatment, reduce transmission, improve education, and coordinate resources. But AIDS is not over – and political will to sustain progress and scale up effective responses that could eliminate HIV in the next generation seems to be faltering.

The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (now a WCC ecumenical initiative) has campaigned on HIV and AIDS for over 17 years, advocating for access to treatment, eradication of stigma and discrimination, elimination of root causes of vulnerability to HIV transmission, and fulfillment of commitments by governments, intergovernmental organizations, religious leaders, faith organizations and individuals. Much progress has been made during this period to extend access to treatment, reduce transmission, improve education, and coordinate resources. But AIDS is not over – and political will to sustain progress and scale up effective responses that could eliminate HIV in the next generation seems to be faltering.

The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance has earned a high level of recognition and respect in international policy spaces and multilateral organizations, including the post-2015 civil society working group, Free Space Process, and the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board.

Examples of recent major campaign initiatives led by the WCC-EAA:

  • Children and adolescents: Mobilizing faith leaders and communities to help end AIDS in children by 2020, reminding governments of their commitments agreed in the June 2016 United Nations’ Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS that there should be “special emphasis on providing 1.6 million children (0-14 years of age) with antiretroviral therapy by 2018.”" Read more
  • HIV Testing: Coordinating the campaign Leading by Example: Religious Leaders and HIV Testing, which calls on faith leaders to get tested for HIV to inspire others to know their status, thus challenging the stigma and discrimination that limit access to testing and treatment to all. Read more
  • Dialogue: Promote and facilitate national dialogue and action on human rights and HIV through the Framework for Dialogue, guided by an international steering committee involving GNP+, INERELA+, UNAIDS and the EAA.
  • Access to treatment: Advocacy and dialogue with pharmaceutical companies to ensure affordable and accessible treatment, particularly for children. The WCC-EAA has specifically promoted comprehensive agreements between companies and the Medicines Patent Pool.
  • International advocacy: Maintain pressure on governments, multisectoral organizations, private sector and leaders of all levels to strengthen the global efforts on HIV, ensuring that progress is not lost. This includes preparations for the next International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018 in Amsterdam) and work on the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Coordination of faith based participation and advocacy United Nations High-Level Meeting on AIDS. http://www.oikoumene.org/en/what-we-do/eaa/united-nations-high-level-meeting-on-aids]

For more information, contact Francesca Merico, HIV Campaign Coordinator.

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