Civil Society’s opinion on guidelines for testing, early treatment, and counseling in regard to HIV treatment

Bebe-EEUU-VIH-Foto-AP_LRZIMA20140308_0032_12Early diagnosis and the initiation of appropriate and early HIV treatment is key to ensure a healthy life for those with HIV. Therefore, different organizations and networks in Latin America and the Caribbean have joined to express their voice regarding the new guidelines of “early treatment” for people with HIV, and the fulfillment of the goals proposed by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

The statement, which is collecting signatures of civil society organizations and networks in Latin America, states, among other things, that there is not enough scientific evidence or consensus on the benefits of early antiretroviral therapy for those who have more than 500 CD4.

It also highlights that health systems in Latin American countries do not offer support or care for people who develop side effects. Also, they have no access to viral load testing and genotyping services, and if they have, they are not sustainable.

On the other hand, signatory organizations demand that national responses to HIV regain a central place in public policies, and they should be addressed in a comprehensive way.  Furthermore, national programs on HIV, along with Civil Society, must expand voluntary access to HIV testing, pre and post-test counselling, and confidentiality of diagnosis without mandatory immediate bonding to treatment, in cases of people with a positive diagnosis.

Similarly, these same organizations and Civil Society members also demand Governments to increase domestic investment in national responses, including programs and services of care, and treatment for people with HIV. Also, national responses with local funding must include investment for Civil Society, which have demonstrated effectiveness and community outreach.

Click here to sign and support this position.