THE ISSUE IS NO LONGER WHAT MUST BE DONE TO FIGHT HIV/AIDS,
BUT HOW TO DO IT.
July 31th, 2012
Since its new beginning in 2007, the Fondation québécoise du sida has benefited in many ways from organizational support from COCQ-SIDA. This community solidarity is dear to us, and is a solid partnership for the Fondation. However, the board of directors decided last year to make the Fondation more autonomous by creating a separate executive director position. On June 28, our annual general assembly has honoured me with this important mandate.
While we have the best and most up-to-date knowledge on HIV/AIDS at our disposal, the community organizations must now meet the challenge of integrating that knowledge into its work and adapt its actions to the needs of the populations it serves. Recent scientific advances, new preventive technologies, the effects of stigma and discrimination on the pandemic and the resulting human rights issues, the role of social, economic, and structural factors are among the many parts of the context that must be considered. Today, the issue is no longer what must be done to fight HIV/AIDS, but how to do it, and of course where to get the financial and human resources required.
In Quebec, on top of the difficult economic situation, the political choices of both levels of government lead not only to frequent budget restrictions but also to decisions that may have negative impacts on awareness raising, prevention, and social justice.
As for the situation in Africa, between economic crises and civil wars, your support for the Fondation is more important than ever. Funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS are dropping, with some countries lacking the funds needed to contribute and others preparing for the crisis by reducing expenditures. In this context, community work is increasingly difficult. For example, ARCAD/SIDA in Mali saw its testing and medication distribution facilities in the city of Goa destroyed. Deeming the situation in the country too dangerous, and not having completed its evaluations of how its funding was being used, the Global Fund discontinued its contributions. Poor workers have already carried on with their tasks for months as volunteers, but how long can they continue?
While the latest scientific advances could make it possible to wipe out HIV/AIDS, more than ever funding will be the central issue of the next few years.
Thank you so much for your faithful support!