Open Letter to the Governments of the World


June 9, 2008

As leaders gather in New York for the Global Leaders Forum on TB/HIV, we write as civil society groups, advocates, researchers, and groups of people living with TB and HIV from 65 countries around the world to demand concrete action on TB and HIV.

We express our collective outrage that TB, despite being curable for over a half-century, continues to be the leading cause of death of People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWH/A). We call on governments and multilateral institutions to take bold and concrete action – and commit ourselves to the same – to ensure that every person in need receives high quality TB and HIV treatment, prevention, diagnostics, and care.
Online at www.tac.org.za/community/node/2336 you will find a call to action from Civil Society – as we add our voices to the leaders gathered in New York on June 9. In 2006, the UN Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS called for “accelerated scale-up of collaborative activities on tuberculosis and HIV, in line with the Global Plan to Stop TB.” Since then, some nations have seen major scale-up, but the vast majority of people with TB/HIV co-infection still do not have access to coordinated services.

The world must treat TB/HIV as the crisis that it is. In sub-Saharan Africa currently up to 50 percent of people living with HIV will develop TB – they are 30 times more likely to develop active TB. Multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB, including extensively drug-resistant (XDR) TB, is poised to become the next pandemic – and already has frighteningly high mortality amongst people with HIV. An effective response must be mobilized immediately.

We understand that, if universal access to existing high quality TB/HIV care and services were available by 2015, we could likely cut the current mortality rates by 80 percent – saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of people each year. As a matter of urgency, we call upon governments of the world to move beyond declarations and provide the plans, the resources, and the effective programs to stop these intertwined pandemics.
We demand that governments immediately and publicly announce:

1. UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO HIGH QUALITY TB/HIV CARE BY 2015: By 2015, in high burden areas, every person living with HIV should be screened for TB, every person with TB should be offered HIV counseling and testing, and treatment, prevention, and care must be universally available and coordinated for both diseases. This must be coordinated with a scale up to Universal Access on HIV by 2010.

2. FULL FUNDING: Donor and high burden country governments must announce specifically how they will fund the at least $19 billion through 2015 needed to ensure existing high quality TB/HIV care is available to all and that new tools are on the way.

3. REDUCE TB/HIV MORTALITY: Country plans should monitor progress to reduce mortality to no more than 90,000 by 2010 and 50,000 by 2015 – an 80 percent reduction over our current course.

4. 21st CENTURY DIAGNOSTICS & TREATMENT: A tangible global commitment must be announced to developing and ensuring access to 21st century diagnostic and treatment tools so that co-infected people are screened and treated more effectively.

Signed,
1. ActionAid International
2. ActUP Philadelphia, USA
3. Africa Action, USA
4. African Council of AIDS Service Organizations (AfriCASO), Africa
5. Africa Public Health 15% Now Campaign, Africa
6. African Services Committee, USA
7. Afro Global Alliance, International
8. AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa
9. AIDS Law Project, South Africa
10. The AIDS Institute, USA
11. Aid for AIDS International
12. AID FOR AIDS, Peru
13. Albay Council on Reproductive Track Infection Control, Philippines
14. Alliance Burundais Contre le SIDA, Burundi
15. Alma Viva, Chile
16. American Jewish World Service, USA
17. American Medical Student Association, USA
18. Amity Humanity Foundation, India
19. Anonimous AIDS Association, Hungary
20. Argentinean Network of Women Living with HIV/AIDS, Argentina
21. Asociación LGTB Colectivo Violeta, Honduras
22. Association Agua Buena, Costa Rica
23. Asociacion Civil Amavida, Venezuela
24. Association Laafi La Viim, Burkina Faso
25. Asociacion Nacional de Personas Positivas “Vida Nueva”, El Salvador
26. Asociaciòn PROSA, Peru
27. Associação de Reintegração dos Jovens/Crianças na Vida Social, Angola
28. Asociación de ayuda al Sero Positivo, Uruguay
29. Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation, USA
30. Asian Harm Reduction Network (AHRN), Asia
31. Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCOM), Asia
32. Asia Pacific Council of AIDS Service Organizations (APCASO), Asia
33. Asia Pacific Network of People living with HIV/AIDS (APN+), Asia
34. Coordination of Action Research on AIDS and Mobility Asia (CARAM Asia), Asia
35. Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (APN+), Asia
36. Asia Pacific Rainbow, Asia
37. Association African Solidarité, Burkina Faso
38. Avocats pour La Sante dans le Monde, France
39. Beijing Aizhixing Institute, China
40. Botswana Couples Forum, Botswana
41. Botswana Network of Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS, Botswana
42. Botswana Treatment Literacy Coalition, Botswana
43. British Columbia Lung Association, Canada
44. Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Division of Social Medicine and Health Inequalities, USA
45. Burundian Human Rights League Iteka, Burundi
46. Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Canada
47. Canadian Lung Association, Canada
48. Canadian Federation of Medical Students, Canada
49. Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa, South Africa
50. Centre for Harm reduction, Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health, Melbourne, Australia
51. Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition, Caribbean
52. Child Foundation of India
53. China AAI AIDS NGO Network (CAANN), China
54. Christian Aid, United Kingdom
55. Ciudadanos en Apoyo a los Derechos Humanos, A.C., Mexico
56. Coalicion Ecuatoriana De Personas Que Viven Con VIH/SIDA (CEPVVS), Ecuador
57. Coalition of Asia Pacific Regional Networks on HIV/AIDS, Asia
58. Coalition of Women Living with HIV and AIDS in Malawi
59. Comité Técnico CIAT, Bolivia
60. Communication for Development Centre, Nigeria
61. Community Health Action Network & Volunteers for Community Mental Health, India
62. Companions on a Journey, Sri Lanka
63. Consortium to Respond Effectively to the AIDS/TB Epidemic (CREATE), USA
64. Damien Foundation, Belgium
65. Delhi Network of Positive people (DNP+), India
66. Estonian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, Estonia
67. Ethiopia Treatment Access Movement
68. European AIDS Treatment Group (EATG), Belgium
69. EMPOWER, India
70. FISS MST/SIDA, Cameroon
71. For Family and Health Pan-Armenian Association, Armenia
72. The Foundation for Research in Community Health, India
73. François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University, USA
74. Friends of the Global Fight, USA
75. Fundación Huellas, Ecuador
76. Fundación Huésped, Argentina
77. German Leprosy & TB Relief Association
78. Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health, Ghana
79. Global Action for Children, USA
80. Global AIDS Alliance, USA
81. Global Alliance for TB Drug Development, International
82. Global Health Advocates, India
83. Global Harmony, India
84. Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS, International
85. Goodwill Aid, Ghana
86. Good Neighbour Inc., Nigeria
87. Grupo de Ayuda Mutua “Amigos por Siempre” Callao, Peru
88. Grupo CLARA, Dominican Republic
89. Grupo Português de Activistas sobre Tratamentos de VIH/SIDA (GAT), Portugal
90. Guyana Rainbow Association, Guyana
91. HALT-SIDA, DR Congo
92. Harvard Medical School, Department of Social Medicine, USA
93. Health Alliance International, USA
94. HealthGAP (Global Access Project), USA
95. HealthNet TPO, The Netherlands
96. Health, Environment & Agriculture Development Program, Nepal
97. HIV/AIDS Task Force, Africa Japan Forum, Japan
98. HIV Medicine Association, USA
99. Hope Care Foundation, Ghana
100. Human Rights Working Group on HIV/AIDS and Public Health, McGill Faculty of Law, Canada
101. International Services Association, India
102. International Rescue Committee, USA
103. Instituto de Estudios Legales del Sur, Uruguay
104. Initiatives for Research and Training for Development, Cameroon
105. Initiative for Community Development, Nigeria
106. Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development (ICAD), United Kingdom
107. International Community of Women Living with HIV and AIDS, Southern Africa
108. International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO), International
109. International Peace Initiatives, Kenya
110. Intersect Worldwide, US, India
111. Intimate Friends International, Cameroon
112. Junta Parroquial de La Merced, Ecuador
113. Kara Counseling and Training Trust, Zambia
114. Kenya AIDS NGOs Consortium, Kenya
115. Knowledge Ecology International, USA/Switzerland
116. KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, The Netherlands
117. Lanka+, Sri Lanka
118. Lawyers Collective, HIV/AIDS Unit, India
119. LHL – Norwegian Heart and Lung Patient Organization, Norway
120. Life Goes On, Dominica
121. Living Positively, Canada
122. Malaysian Treatment Access & Advocacy Group (MTAAG+), Malaysia
123. Malaysian AIDS Council, Malaysia
124. Medical Care Development Inputs – MCDI, Kenya
125. Medical Care Development, South Africa
126. Media Network on HIV/AIDS and Development (MedNAD), Nigeria
127. Migrant Clinicians Network, USA
128. Mozambique AIDS Treatment Access Movement, Mozambique
129. MSM: No Political Agenda (MSMNPA), Trinidad & Tobago
130. Mumbai Thane HIV Project, World Vision India, India
131. National Group of TB People, Pakistan
132. Naz Foundation India Trust, India
133. Network of Zimbabwean Positive Women (NZPW+), Zimbabwe
134. New Jersey Medical School Global Tuberculosis Institute, USA
135. Nyaya Health, Nepal
136. Observatoria Latinoamerican De Prisiones Y Encierro, Latin America
137. Observatoire des Droits des Personnes Infectées et/ou Affectées par le VIH/SIDA (odpia+), Burundi
138. Organizacion de Mujeres Trabajadoras y ex Trabajadoras Sexuales Mexicanas, Mexico
139. Niu Ailan Bilas Peles Oltaim – Yumi Bung Wantaim long Paitim sik AIDS, TB na Malaria, Papua New Guinea
140. Pan African Treatment Access Movement, Africa
141. Pakistan National AIDS Consortium, Pakistan
142. Partners In Health, USA
143. PATH, Cambodia
144. PATH, Kenya
145. Participatory Development Action Program (PDAP), Bangladesh
146. Perspectiva Social, Argentina
147. Physicians for Human Rights, USA
148. Pinoy Plus Association – Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS, Philippines
149. Positive Life Association of Nigeria (PLAN), Nigeria
150. Positive Lives Foundation (PLF-GOA), India
151. Pro-Health Initiative, Nigeria
152. Project RING, Japan AIDS and Society Association, Japan
153. Raks Thai Foundation, Thailand
154. RAVANE+ – People Living with HIV and AIDS in the Indian Ocean – Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles
155. Regional AIDS Training Centre and Network, India
156. Public Personalities Against AIDS Trust, Zimbabwe
157. Puerto Rico Community Network on Clinical Research on AIDS, Puerto Rico
158. Red de Abogados Defensores de Derechos Humanos, Venezuela
159. Red Nacional de Personas que Viven con el VIH de Bolivia (REDBOL), Bolivia
160. Red Uruguaya de PS (REDLA+), Uruguay
161. Reproductive Health Association of Cambodia (RHAC), Cambodia
162. Réseau Nigérien de Personnes Vivant Avec le VIH/SIDA, Nigeria
163. RESULTS Educational Fund, USA
164. RESULTS Canada
165. RESULTS Japan
166. RESULTS UK
167. Russian Harm Reduction Network, Russia
168. Sequella, Inc., USA
169. Slums Information Development & Resource Centres (SIDAREC), Kenya
170. Sociedade Terra Viva, Brazil
171. Society for Participatory Research In Asia (PRIA), India
172. Social Help & Research Organization (SHRO), Pakistan
173. Solthis, France
174. Southern Africa HIV/AIDS Information Dissemination Service, Africa
175. Southern Africa Human Rights NGO Network(SAHRiNGON), Tanzania
176. South Asia Women Media Association, Pakistan
177. Spiritia Foundation, Indonesia
178. Stop HIV/AIDS in India Initiative (SHAII), USA
179. Stop AIDS, Liberia
180. STOP TB Italy
181. Stop TB Partnership, Ghana
182. St. Mary Cottage Hospital, Kenya
183. St. Mary’s Health Care Network, Armenia
184. Students Against Global AIDS (SAGA), Canada
185. Student Global AIDS Campaign, USA
186. Student Global AIDS Campaign, Cameroon
187. Swiss Emmaus Leprosy Relief, Switzerland
188. Task Force of Empowerment for Migrant Workers and Spouses, Malaysia
189. Target Tuberculosis, United Kingdom
190. TB Alert, United Kingdom
191. TB Voice Network, Ghana
192. Treatment Action Campaign, South Africa
193. Treatment Advocacy and Literacy Campaign, Zambia
194. Treatment Action Movement (TAM), Nigeria
195. Treatment Action Group, USA
196. Tuberculosis Television Organisation Studio1, Zambia
197. United Civil Society Coalition on HIV/TB and MALARIA, Kenya
198. United Methodist Church, General Board of Church & Society, USA
199. Vermont Global Health Coalition, USA
200. World AIDS Campaign, The Netherlands & South Africa
201. World Vision, France
202. Young Activists Against AIDS, Ghana
203. Youth Coalition on Sexual and Reproductive Rights, International
204. Youth Vision Services, Nepal
205. Zambia Association for the Prevention of HIV and Tuberculosis (ZAPHIT), Zambia

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