2016 World AIDS Day Message – Director, PANCAP Coordinating Unit
As the World commemorates World AIDS Day 2016, its does so under the theme ‘Hands up for #HIV prevention’. This theme calls attention to the crucial need for us to refocus our efforts on combination prevention that includes treatment, behavior change communication, access to condoms and provision of social protection to address individuals’ vulnerability.
We must be reminded that a new generation of young people are growing up without the education, knowledge and tools to protect themselves. We must therefore advocate for renewed emphasis to be placed on HIV prevention education among our young people and evidence informed strategies to enable them to protect themselves from HIV. Let us be cognizant of the vulnerabilities that people continue to face and which put them at risk to contracting HIV. There is an urgent need to collaborate with all sectors including human services, social protection and education to address the underlying causes of vulnerability and risk: poverty, inequality and social exclusion.
We must be mindful that in spite of the many successes of PANCAP, stigma and discrimination continue to serve as barriers to individuals’ access to much needed prevention services. PANCAP is using its Justice for All (JFA) Programme to affirm human rights of all and to advocate for reducing stigma and eliminating discrimination. We believe that synergies between the JFA programme and other efforts would result in increased numbers of persons from key population groups coming forward to access prevention, treatment care and support services.
Let us recommit to placing prevention high on our agenda and doing all we can to enable this new generation to achieve prevention.