The ‘Broken Promises’ by Rich Countries on HIV/AIDS (Video)

In 2005, the leaders of the world’s richest countries (the G8) agreed to provide universal access to anti-AIDS medications by 2010, but the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 10 million people are still awaiting treatment. That is two thirds of the people who need the treatment.

At the G20 Summit in Cannes, France, at the beginning of November, HIV/Aids activists were there to remind them, including the (pictured) diva Miss Promesses (actually Nicolas Denis, Manager of International Advocacy at the French organization Aides). The G20 is the European Union and 19 of the most important industrialized and developing economies.

The character is meant to immitate the attitude of the rich countries, says Aides:

Perched on her high heels, amused and unconscious, she throws explicit and symbolic signs on the ground. One by one, these promises fail on the red carpet. At the same time, activists stretch on the floor. Each of them bears on his t-shirt the name of a poor country in need of anti-AIDS funding; and “broken promises kill!”

According to Aides, 7,000 people die of AIDS each day and numerous studies show that access to treatment is a good investment for the future.

A study published in The Lancet in June shows that if $22 billion were spent annually till 2020 on HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, $30 billion in extra resources would flow annually to developing countries due to saved lives and reduced infections.

The French National AIDS Council has published a “Memorandum Equivalent to an Opinion” recommending that financial transactions be taxed to fund the battle against AIDS. In a news release, the Council explains why these innovative investments are necessary:

For the first time in the history of the fight against HIV/AIDS, the opportunity to curb the spread of the global AIDS epidemic has been shown to exist. Indeed, we now know that treating infected people significantly reduces the risk of virus transmission.

Ensuring the widest possible access to screening and treatment for those who need it is the best way to stem the spread of the epidemic. According to the World Health Organization, massive development of prevention, screening and treatment access programs could prevent half of the 62 million new infections predicted for the 2005 to 2015 period.

But at the G20, the AIDS pandemic was overshadowed by the Greek referendum and Euro crisis. The G20’s final declaration made no mention of HIV/AIDS and merely acknowledged the initiatives in some countries for a tax on financial transactions.

However, according to Oxfam, a tax on financial transactions to fund international development (popularly called the “Robin Hood Tax”) gained additional support at the G20, and is now supported by Argentina, Brazil, Ethiopia, France, Germany, South Africa and Spain.

Kouami Goudo, an HIV/Aids activist from the African country of Benin who demonstrated with the French group, said:

[The rich] have made promises they have not held, we have come to remind them of these commitments!

International HIV/AIDS funding, particularly that from the US, has been controversial for allowing ideology to trump science, such as in funding abstinence programs and ignoring some populations.

According to David Kuria, the spokesperson of the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK), more than 33% of all new infections in Kenya are attributable to under-served sub-populations such as men who have sex with men (MSM) and sex workers.

In May, the Obama administration announced changes. The Office of the US Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) released new guidance for the massive US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a US $48 billion dollar program started by George Bush.

In August, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands announced a massive, world-first program so that gay men, people who use drugs and sex workers in 16 countries can get easier access to information, condoms, antiretroviral treatment and care.


Related stories:

AIDS Activist Pedro Zamora — LGBT History Month Day 31

30 Years of HIV

States Slash Programs Providing HIV/AIDS Meds To Needy Patients

Image source AIDES


Silvia G.
Silvia G6 years ago

"Most of the people infected with HIV/Aids are innocent victims"? Are there such a thing as guilty victims? I don't think that anyone gets the disease wanting to get it. I guess you referred to children and the like but still, all the people infected are victims and therefore not guilty of anything at all.

Roger Monk
Past Member 6 years ago

Any country that doesn't fulfill it's obligations to those in such need should be ashamed of itself.

Robert Moseley
Robert Moseley6 years ago

Most of the people infected with HIV/Aids are innocent victims. However why is the prevelance and incident rates so high among MSM here in the USA? Simply put anal penetration is a major factor. What would happen if this behavior is reduced. This fact is glossed over or only mentioned in passing. The deaths of some 500,000 men here in America seems to be minimized. The big drug companies are making billions while misguided people continue in their complacency and denial. We are dealing with human lives and this is no joking manner!

Lynda H.
Lynda Harrison6 years ago

So, we have the wherewithall to continue to fight the battles of others, notably Afghanistan, yet there are no funds to fight the battle of HIV/AIDS . . . interesting . . . not to mention tragic, and yet another example of the shortsightedness of the political class!!

Holly Lawrence
Holly Lawrence6 years ago

Another case of building up people's hopes and then slapping them in the face! So very sad.. we must care for one another ..


Ernest R.
Ernest R6 years ago

@ Thomas L “We have the resources to finally get a handle on AIDS. We also have the resources to end hunger worldwide.” How mice it would be if these were our only two problems in the world. We have the resources to end the insane breeding frenzy the world is now into. We don’t do that either. We have the resources to end cancer, but they can’t be patented. We have the resources to end illegal migration that is replacing our citizens with Mexican nationals. We do NOT.have the resources to grow food in ‘developments’, in flooded fields or in waterless drought stricken deserts or in state wide fires. You do periodically check the news ?

Marg Wood
Marg W6 years ago

Shirley S.You sound just like a man named Hitler his hate started world war 2.

tiffany t.
tiffany t6 years ago

"Approximately 5% of individuals living with HIV infection in the United States are between the ages of 13 and 24 years, and there is evidence that the prevalence of HIV infection continues to grow among adolescents. Most young people with HIV are male sex, and nearly half of adolescents with HIV are unaware of their infection.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has changed its recommendations for HIV screening, aiming for more inclusive testing for all patients between the ages of 13 and 64 years seen in healthcare settings. This testing should be offered on an "opt-out" basis (meaning that testing is not performed only when the patient actively declines) and should not require either pretest counseling or written consent before testing.

In light of the epidemiology of HIV infection and the recommendations from the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics has reviewed its own recommendations regarding HIV screening. "

from November print issue of Pediatrics.

tells us this pandemic is growing. We have become complacent regarding HIV/AIDS due to lack of education, misreporting of HIV/AIDS in the media, not annually testing; should be part of physical/hospitalization, paranoid delusions about HIV/AIDS, and the greatest advantage HIV/AIDS bears is the "NOT ME" mentality.

Berny P.
berny p6 years ago

I believe that what ever we do to help with AIDS...we should do it at home especially with the economic situation.....

Charity beguins at home!

Andrew Carvin
Andrew Carvin6 years ago

There is no cure for HIV/AIDS not because it can't be done, but because it is more profitable to treat HIV/AIDS than it is to cure it.

If drug companies had their way we would all have HIV/AIDS, and would have the option of either going bankrupt trying to afford treatment medications, or die.