December 18, 2012
As 2012 draws to a close, it’s time to take stock of what we have accomplished together and focus our resolutions for action in the coming year.
It’s been just a few weeks since the flurry of documents released on World AIDS Day 2012, including the PEPFAR Blueprint for Creating an AIDS-free Generation, AVAC Report 2012 – Achieving the End: One Year and Counting, the UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report: Results—and many others.
As advocates, our primary task is to transform the words of these and other documents into action. Our fervent hope now is that the coming 12 months see tangible progress in the effort to start ending the AIDS epidemic.
There is more than enough of an action agenda to hold global, national and community leadership—including ourselves—accountable. And we have significant victories to reflect on, and celebrate, as we refresh and recharge for the undoubtedly difficult work ahead.
For example: the new PEPFAR plan came 12 months after US President Obama announced expanded targets for US-funded AIDS programs. Both last year’s speech and this year’s Blueprint are the result of sustained advocacy on the part of a range of organizations, including AVAC, seeking to hold the Obama Administration accountable as a leader in the fight to end the epidemic.
Securing the publication of this Blueprint is just one of our accomplishments over the past 12 months, which have also seen us:
Just last week, we convened our third annual Advocacy Partners’ Forum in Johannesburg—and the accomplishments of this vibrant, determined community of advocates were nothing short of amazing. The goals and strategies already in place and in action for the year to come were even more inspiring! You can read about many of them in P-Values, our monthly update on partner activities.
The coming year is a critical one for so many reasons. It will bring a new guidance from WHO on the strategic use of ARVs for treatment and prevention. It will be a year of ambitious targets for voluntary medical male circumcision programs—some of which may introduce new non-surgical devices—in key African countries. And it will be a year where additional prevention research results will challenge us to understand how to translate science into practice.
It will also be another year of advocates’ working together to counter the homophobia, gender-based violence and HIV-related stigma that drive the epidemic—and which must be addressed as part of truly effective combination prevention.
We have momentum to overcome these challenges. We cannot afford to slow down now. Your support is more important than ever. Our work is sustained by your support as colleagues, collaborators and donors, and we hope that you’ll keep us in mind when planning your year-end giving and last-minute holiday shopping. There are several ways you can support AVAC, all listed on the Take Action section of the AVAC website:
Much accomplished, and much to do – together! We look forward to working with you all to ensure that the promise of 2012 is actually realized.
Many thanks in advance for your continued partnership and support. May the New Year bring peace, stability and health around the world.