|We Must Put Aside Politics and Ideology to Tackle HIV/AIDS|
We Must Put Aside Politics and Ideology to Tackle HIV/AIDS
Financial Times, June 19, 2006
Letter to the Editor
Sir, As you rightly argued ("More aid against Aids", June 3), the battle against HIV/Aids is about more than money—it is about building political will and prevention strategies that go beyond cultural and ideological confines.
The disproportionate vulnerability of women and girls to HIV/Aids in every region of the world must be met with a comprehensive prevention approach that cuts through social, cultural and religious attitudes that make them vulnerable in the first place.
We need to empower women, especially girls and young women, through education and economic opportunities. We must protect their right to control their own sexuality, develop prevention technologies that they control, such as microbicides, and ensure comprehensive sexuality education and health services, including condoms for all.
If the world is serious about ending HIV/Aids, governments must honestly and openly address the circumstances of those most vulnerable and put prevention above politics and ideology. The declaration on HIV/Aids adopted by the world's governments at the United Nations on June 2 makes significant strides in its strong action commitments on women's human rights—it is crucial for governments to match their words with their budgets.
Originally published in The Financial Times, June 19, 2006. Reprinted with permission.