Leading advocacy for antiretroviral drugs, Fiji
Parliamentarians urged to lead advocacy for antiretroviral drugs
Advocating for policies and initiatives to enhance accessibility of antiretroviral drugs to those who need them at an affordable price is a matter of priority.
This was the general consensus at the 51st CPA workshop on Millennium Goal 6 on Combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases last week.
Though developing countries in the Commonwealth appreciate the attention paid to the epidemic by the United Nations and CPA, delegates at the workshop noted that the disease continues to spread alarmingly.
It was noted with concern that the HIV pandemic had exceeded all expectations since it was first diagnosed 24 years ago especially in the Commonwealth developing countries.
Parliamentarians were therefore urged to talk openly about the virus at every opportunity and utilise available parliamentarian processes to reduce stigma.
Moreover parliamentarians were urged to start multi-sectorial initiatives to improve the capacity of the people and more importantly empowerment of women.
And to also support the safe sex campaign Abstinence, Being faithful, and use of Condoms (ABC) which has been highly successful in Uganda and Zambia.
Other matters of concern raised at the workshop included the inadequate legal framework to protect the rights of those infected or affected against abuse and discrimination.
And the link between poverty and HIV/AIDS with each causing or exacerbating the other therefore for policies against the disease to be successful and address it from both fronts.