Sustain, Adapt, Protect: A Call to Action on HIV, TB and COVID-19

© Frontline AIDS
Action is needed to sustain progress on HIV and TB during the COVID-19 pandemic, to adapt HIV and TB programmes so that they can also address COVID-19 and to protect human rights.

This Call to Action has been developed by Frontline AIDS, AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA), Global Coalition of TB Activists, TB People, and Stop TB Partnership alongside community organisations on the frontline of the HIV and TB responses, and national, regional and global civil society groups committed to ending AIDS and TB.

We recognise and welcome the contributions that the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and a number of donor governments have already made towards tackling COVID-19. However, further action is needed to sustain progress on HIV and TB during the COVID-19 pandemic, to adapt HIV and TB programmes so that they can also address COVID-19 and to protect human rights.

With this Call, we ask governments, donors and UN partners to support our efforts, by committing to the following actions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sustain progress on HIV and TB

Even before COVID-19, the world was failing to deliver on global HIV and TB targets, and HIV prevention continues to be in crisis. Now under lockdown, we have seen prevention services disappear overnight, with disastrous consequences. Women and girls are facing higher risks of HIV infection under lockdown, due to increased levels of violence, yet many now have no access to essential HIV or SRHR services. A severe shortage of condoms is looming, and the sudden closure of harm reduction services is depriving people who use drugs of access to opioid substitution therapy and other life-saving interventions, putting them at higher risk of HIV, TB, viral Hepatitis and fatal overdose.

In many countries, we are also seeing resources diverted from the HIV and TB responses to COVID-19.  People living with HIV and TB are finding their treatment providers closed, and in some countries, supply chains are no longer functioning. The WHO has warned that if we do not overcome these interruptions, we could face more than 500,000 extra deaths from AIDS in 2020–2021. Modelling by the Stop TB Partnership has also shown that an additional 1.4 million people could die due to the impact of lockdown on TB programmes.

We ask governments to urgently recognise HIV and TB prevention and treatment as essential, and to ensure that they have enough staff, resources and supplies to continue uninterrupted HIV and TB services during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also urge donors to honour their existing commitments to sustain and increase HIV and TB funding during the COVID-19 pandemic. UNAIDS and other UN partners must continue to advocate for adequate HIV and TB funding, in order to meet global targets and avoid undoing the gains of recent years.

Adapt community responses to HIV and TB to tackle COVID-19

Communities are an integral part of health systems, and networks of people living with HIV and community organisations have been on the frontline of the HIV and TB responses for decades. Many are now also playing a critical role in tackling this new pandemic, adapting their existing programmes to include COVID-19 awareness and prevention and to address the health, social and economic consequences, from gender-based violence to loss of livelihoods and food insecurity.

We call on governments, donors and UN agencies to recognise the essential work that communities on the frontline of the HIV and TB responses are doing to tackle COVID-19, and to focus on providing community organisations with the financial resources, technical support and equipment they need to adapt to COVID-19, instead of starting brand new programmes using parallel structures. We also urge donors to grant maximum flexibility to existing partners, so that they can adapt to address HIV, TB and COVID-19 together, alongside the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 restrictions, including lockdown.

Protect human rights

As HIV and TB organisations, we know too well how stigma and human rights violations can rapidly erupt in the face of a health crisis. As COVID-19 responses by governments continue and human rights are limited to reduce the spread of the virus, we are seeing a rise in human rights abuses targeted at people who are already marginalised or criminalised due to sexual orientation, gender identity, drug use or sex work. The Frontline AIDS’ Rapid Response Fund, which provides grants to LGBT people in emergency situations, has received almost triple the number of applications since January, highlighting examples of LGBT people being jailed for putting others at risk for COVID-19, and underlining the acute challenges facing marginalised communities as this pandemic takes hold.

We demand that governments and all other state actors desist from human rights violations carried out in the name of the COVID-19 crisis, and urge them to uphold dignity and human rights for all people. We also urge donors and UN partners to make human rights a core component of their responses to COVID-19, by increasing their advocacy efforts in response to human rights violations and by ensuring that new vaccines and treatments for COVID-19 are available and affordable for all, in line with the right to health.

 

Signatories

To sign your organisation on to this Call to Action, please email emacfadden@frontlineaids.org.

  • Ark Wellness Hub
  • AVAC  (AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition)
  • COWHLA (Coalition of Women Living with HIV and AIDS)
  • EANNASO (Eastern Africa National Networks of AIDS and Health Service Organizations)
  • MPact Global Action for Gay Men’s Health & Rights
  • STOPAIDS
  • GALZ (An LGBTI Association in Zimbabwe)
  • PAPWC-ZIM (Pan African Positive Women’s Coalition-Zimbabwe)
  • FACT (Family AIDS Caring Trust)
  • JONEHA(Network Of Journalists living with HIV)
  • PATA (Paediatric-Adolescent Treatment Africa)
  • Pakachere Institute of Health and Development Communication (Pakachere)
  • NACOSA (Networking HIV and AIDS Community of Southern Africa)
  • ZWLWHNF (Zimbabwe Women Living with HIV National Forum)
  • MAAYGO (Men Against AIDS Youth Group)
  • UHRN (Uganda Harm Reduction Network)
  • LEGALIFE-UKRAINE
  • Alliance Myanmar
  • Meridian
  • EANNASO (Eastern Africa National Networks of AIDS and Health Service Organisations)
  • Paroles Autour de la Santé
  • The Association For Safer Drug Policies
  • MENAHRA (the Middle East & North Africa Harm Reduction Association)
  • Centro de Convivência É de Lei
  • HIV Justice Network
  • IDPC (International Drug Policy Consortium)
  • KeNPUD (Kenya Network Of People Who Use Drugs)
  • L’Association de Lutte Contre le Sida (ALCS) du Maroc
  • Zambia Sex Workers Alliance
  • APH (Alliance for Public Health)
  • Ukrainian Network of People who Use Drugs
  • IAS (International AIDS Society)
  • Hope and Trust
  • Ukrainian Network of Women Who Use Drugs
  • Ace Africa
  • FACT Zimbabwe
  • Asia Catalyst
  • Wote Youth Development Projects
  • Afrihealth Optonet Association
  • DUZAFOUND (Dr Uzo Adirieje Foundation)
  • SOCSEEN (Society for Conservation and Sustainability of Energy and Environment in Nigeria)
  • Genesis Educational Trust
  • LICO (Life Concern)
  • WEDNET-AFRICA (Welfare Development Network)
  • OHISD (Organization For Health in Sustainable Development)
  • ABTL (Burundian  Alliance  Against  Tuberculosis  and  Leprosy)
  • DACASA (Dandora Community AIDS Support Association)
  • SANTA  (South African National Tuberculosis Association)
  • ANCS (Alliance Nationale des Communautés pour la Santé)
  • IDH-Bolivia
  • Jointed Hands Zimbabwe
  • NAWARA Women for Community Development Morocco
  • NAWARA Women’s Network for the MENA region
  • FARUG (Freedom and Roam Uganda)
  • INPUD (International Network of People Who Use Drugs)
  • Treatment Action Group
  • AMS (Alive Medical Services)
  • APCASO
  • Fem Alliance Uganda
  • GRADE (Grassroots Development and Empowerment Foundation)
  • Alliance India
  • PEERU (Peer to Peer Uganda)
  • ACAM (Associação Comunbitária Ambiente da Mafalala )
  • American Refugee Committee – Thailand
  • SGDZT (SPACE FOR MARGINALISED GROUPS IN DIVERSITY IN ZIMBABWE TRUST)
  • HOPE MBALE (Holistic Organization to Promote Equality)
  • Y+GLOBAL  (The Global Network of young people living with HIV)
  • Marie Stopes International
  • TB-Coalition Europe
  • TackleAfrica
  • Family Visions Child Trust
  • SID’ADO (Les adolescents contre le SIDA )
  • IPPF (International Planned Parenthood Federation)
  • TB Must Fall
  • Results Canada
  • REDTRASEX LAC (Red de Mujeres Trabajadoras Sexuales de Latinoamérica y el Caribe)
  • Development Three Sixty
  • KANCO
  • TB Proof
  • PPI (Pathways Policy Institute )
  • Lok Kalyan Seva Kendra (LKSK) – Girls Not Brides
  • CARKAP (Consortium for the Advancement of Right for Key Affected Populations)
  • “Health Policy and Governance
  • Indian Institute of Education”
  • Emonyo Yefwe International
  • Ugenya Youth Community Development Project
  • Organisation Yinéyinédian pour la Nature et le Développement Durable (OND)
  • Réseau Africa Volontaire (RAV)
  • Appui Solidaire pour le Renforcement de l’Aide au Développement (ASRAD-Burkina Faso).
  • Life Empowerment Support Organization ( LESO)
  • MEERA Foundation
  • The Vaccine Advocacy Resource Group (VARG)
  • The African Alliance for HIV Prevention
  • Mumbo International
  • Blood Patients Protection Council
  • Affected Community Integrated Initiative Services (ACIIS)
  • CISE Malawi
  • Collectif Urgence Toxida (CUT)
  • Global Fund Advocates Network – Africa (GFAN Africa)
  • SERAC-Bangladesh
  • EADE Organization
  • Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development (ICAD)
  • Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
  • Centre for Sustainable Access to Health in Africa (CeSAHA)
  • REPSSI
  • Concern. Health Education Project
  • Union des Amis Socio Culturels d’Action en Developpement (UNASCAD)
  • Pleaders of Children and Elderly People at risk-PEPA
  • Ukana West 2 Community Based Health Initiative  (CBHI)
  • Rural Aid Foundation Uganda
  • Nigerian Women Agro Allied Farmers Association (NIWAAFA)
  • Community Care Foundation-Uganda (CCFU)
  • Voice of the Vulnerables Foundation
  • Eurasian Network of People who Use Drugs (ENPUD)
  • Eurasian Key Populations Health Network (EKHN)
  • Abubuwa Societal Development Initiatives (ASDI)
  • Centre for Healthworks, Development and Research Initiative
  • Nigerian Universal Health Coverage Actions Network (NUHCAN)
  • Youth Partnership for Peace and Development
  • Golden Change for Concerned Youth Forum (GCCYF)
  • Our Lady of Perpetual Help Initiative
  • World Action Fund
  • Formidable Initiatives for Women and Girls (FIWG)
  • BCH Africa Cameroon
  • South Sudan Community Change Agency
  • TIZ (Twikenure Impfuvyi Zitwenge: Sustainable Development for the Happiness of Orphans)
  • Organisation pour le Développement Inclusf au Niger (ONG ODI NIGER)
  • Centre for Capacity Improvement for the Well-Being of the Vulnerable (CIWED)
  • REPID
  • Civil Society Human and Institutional Development Programme (CHIP)
  • OGRA Foundation
  • Wun Anei Development Association-WADA-South Sudan
  • Zimbabwe National Network of People Living with HIV
  • Christian Action for Development & Support (CADS)
  • Action against NCDs and TB
  • International Organization for Human Rights Development and Environment Sierra Leone
  • Centre For Communities Education and Youth Development (CCEYD)
  • Fondazione Villa Maraini (Villa Maraini Foundation)
  • VIKASH-SAMUKHYA
  • TB Alert
  • Malawi Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV and AIDS (MANERELA+)
  • Kwanhliziyonye Resource Care Center
  • Rainbow Mirrors Uganda
  • Empower India
  • Kolkata Rista
  • Radanar Ayar Association
  • AWTAD anti-corruption organization
  • Reach The Youth Uganda (RTY)
  • Trans-Smart Trust
  • Social Health Education Development Society(SHEDS)
  • Teamcoby-Nigeria
  • Jagriti Bhalai Kendra
  • The Network of Maharashtra People with HIV (NMP+)
  • UNIDOS
  • National Coalition of People Living with HIV in India -NCPIPLUS
  • ZCLDN
  • POSITIVE-GENERATION
  • New Life Organisation
  • Youth Stop AIDS
  • Solidarity Hospital Buea
  • Lufuno People Living With HIV & AIDS (Lufuno PLWHA)
  • Accountability International
  • Rescue Team For HIV/AIDS
  • Hope Tariro Trust
  • Care and Development Centre (CADEC)
  • Community Youth Development Foundation
  • Volunteers Welfare for Community Based Care of Zambia (VOWAZA)
  • Advantage Africa
  • ONG ODI NIGER (Organisation pour le Développement Inclusif au Niger)
  • Enhance Children and Women of Tanzania (ECWOT)
  • Youth and Environment Vision (YEV)
  • Swaziland Migrant Mineworkers Association (SWAMMIWA)
  • Southern African Miners Association (SAMA)
  • Swasti
  • RedLacTrans (Red Latinoamericana y del Caribe de Personas Trans)
  • Stretchers Youth Organization
  • LVCT Health
  • Global Fund Advocates Network (GFAN)
  • Buwalo-Matalikilo Trust
  • Youth Gate Zimbabwe Trust
  • Act for Change Ghana
  • TB Proof
  • The African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA)
  • PASSOP (People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty)
  • Coalition for Human Rights Education (COHRE)

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advocacyCOVID-19HIV activists