The importance and imperative of immediate treatment for all people living with HIV is finally indisputable, but laws, policies, and discriminatory neglect continue to keep testing, care and medicine out of reach for men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers, and people who inject drugs worldwide. Pre-exposure prophylactic use of antiretroviral medicine, and medical circumcision provide new proven HIV prevention measures, but women and girls, including transgender women, continue to get infected at disproportionate rates. Local activists, advocates, and health providers have led progress against the pandemic, but continue to be marginalized by restricted funding and restrictive laws.
With these recognitions and more as the 2016 International AIDS Conference in Durban approaches, the declaration of its purpose does what the statement produced by the recent United Nations High-Level Meeting on AIDS declined to do, holding up both the opportunities that could end the pandemic, and the obstacles keeping that from happening.
Highlighting five scientific advances, while also naming five structural barriers to health and progress, the Second Durban Declaration, posted today is not all inclusive, but it is specific.
Like the first declaration from Durban on HIV in 2000, which affirmed that HIV causes AIDS, it represents the necessity of reiterating evidence, restating the obvious, and overcoming denial. It is taking signers here.