The idea for the AIDS-Care-Watch (ACW) Campaign emerged during the International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, where it became clear that the large-scale AIDS treatment initiatives (such as the the World Health Organisation’s ‘3 by 5’ initiative and USs emergency plan for AIDS relief) will not meet their AIDS treatment goals as soon as needed or expected.
Currently, only a small fraction of the 6 million people who need antiretroviral (ARV) medications have access to these drugs. This realisation left many conference participants with a feeling of hopelessness.
The ACW campaign is about restoring that hope. For the million of people living with HIV who are not able to afford or access ARV treatment in the next few years, there are nevertheless many ways that their lives can be extended. The ACW theme of ‘Staying Alive with HIV’ is about spreading that hope.
The AIDS-Care-Watch Campaign contends that there are three primary ways people living with HIV can survive the possibly long wait for ARVs:
Our goal is to reduce the number of preventable HIV-related deaths each year by demanding that people living with HIV have access to a full continuum of life-enhancing care, including ARVs, through a fully-resourced health delivery system.
We insist on the following actions:
National Governments: Ensure health systems have adequate resources to provide people living with HIV a comprehensive package of care and treatment options, including ARVs.
International Agencies: Promote policies that guarantee people living with HIV have access to a wide-range of care and treatment options to help extend their lives while waiting for ARVs.
AIDS Advocacy Organisations: Continue to press for greater ARV access, and at the same time, expand treatment advocacy to include other essential care and treatment options for people living with HIV.