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Vuyiseka Dubula (from TAC – South Africa) has read her speech during the last session of the IAS conference (Paris, july 16) in the presence of the main representatives of the Global Fund (Jacques Chirac, Romano Prodi, Tommy Thompson).

My name is Vuyiseka Dubula. I am from the Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa. I am also a member of the Pan African Treatment Access Movement (PATAM).

I am HIV positive and represent the people living with HIV who should be up on this stage. 42 million in the world, most of them in poor countries.

This conference has confirmed that :
– antiretroviral therapy prolongs lives,
– it can successfully be done in a resource poor settings
– it can have a positive impact on prevention, – it can be affordable with generic competition

We have heard some expert on this stage saying the treatment in Africa is not possible without creating resistant strains of HIV. I was happy to hear from other experts that the scientific community has strongly rejected this claim.

Resistance claims are excuses to delay the progress and it is a shame to continue to use these arguments. It is dramatic to still hear these arguments while people are dying. 8200 deaths every day worldwide.

Excuses are causing terrible damage in some of African countries. Like in South Africa, where I come from. My government is also using delaying excuses and people are dying. Only in South Africa we lose 600 people every day.

Wealthy countries are refusing to put money towards treatment to save the lives of people with AIDS now. We challenge the EU to pair their fair share – $ 1 billion.

We demand the US pay at least the $ 1 billion that they promised to the Global Fund. Donor countries must not refuse to give their fair share to the Global Fund. The Global Fund is the best hope for people living with HIV to have access to treatment.

It provides an opportunity for civil society in countries most affected to be able to challenge national governments to submit proposals for treatment programmes as part of their national anritetroviral plans. The Global Fund also provides an opportunity for everyone worldwide to challenge wealthy countries to fulfil their promises to fully find the Fund.

We must not let the hope and struggles of people living with AIDS be met with such deadly indifference as we have experienced in the last two years, since the Global Fund was launched by G8 leaders.

This deadly indifference was evidence at today’s Donors Conference.

Today’s Donors Conference was a scandal. There were no meaningful pledges from wealthy governments for 2003. The wealthiest countries in the world are refusing the amount of money needed in 2003 and 2004 to begin to save lives now.

This is betrayal of people with AIDS, this is unacceptable.

We need regular, annual contributions based on what people with HIV and AIDS need, not based on what stingy governments are willing to pay.

As people from the grassroots we are saying that we will struggle against this deadly neglect from the donors.

We will struggle until the billions that are needed – and were promised – to fight the war against AIDS are committed. There is so much security here. I wish every security guard represented $ 1 billion for the Global Fund.

We must raise our voices together. Please call after me :