Posted: Wednesday, 30 November 2011
On the occasion of World AIDS Day 2011, the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) calls on Canada to more vigorously pursue initiatives to help the world attain the World AIDS Day theme: “Zero AIDS target” on the pandemic.
Today more than ever, the G8 countries must follow through with their commitments for access to treatment and strategies to prevent HIV and AIDS. We urge countries not to soften their resolve because of news that AIDS-related deaths have fallen to the lowest level since the peak of the epidemic since 1999.
UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, has recently reported progress in the global fight against AIDS, with HIV infections reduced by 21% since 1997 and illnesses decreased by 21% since 2005.
Now is not the time to rest. With progress on our side, it is the time to redouble efforts to stem new HIV infections in the global quest to eradicate the disease. Trade unions around the world have contributed to that progress through their work in promoting workplace prevention programmes.
In 2012, the CLC, its affiliates and African partners will advocate for expanding these successful workplace prevention programmes. Governments and civil society must make the workplace a key venue for expanding the ‘treatment as prevention’ strategy and to ensure the workplace is an HIV discrimination-free zone.
The CLC and its partners will also hold world leaders accountable in venues like that of the G8 Summit next May in Chicago and calls on the United States, as the host country, to produce an Accountability Report on AIDS, similar to that of Muskoka 2010.
Governments should not be cutting back on their commitments to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis or Malaria at a time when such measured progress to stop the spread of the disease has been achieved and more significant progress is within sight.
Canada must follow through with its promise to release its own assessment of the domestic and international measures that are needed for Canada to comply with the International Labour Organization Recommendation #200 on AIDS in the House of Commons. The CLC believes the government’s assessment could become a model for other countries by identifying tangible steps at home and abroad for reaching a “Zero AIDS target.”
With measured progress in the global fight against HIV and AIDS, now is not the time to rest. A "Zero AIDS target" can be met by redoubling our efforts on prevention, and on providing access to treatment.