Worlds AIDS Day 1 December: MEPs call for increased funding for Global Health Fund

In adopting a joint resolution with 546 votes in favour 34 against and 24abstentions on HIV/AIDS one day ahead of World AIDS day, MEPs call on the Commission to increase to 1 billion euros its contribution to the global fund against HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB, and on all Member States and G8 members to increase their contribution to 7 billion in 2007 and 8 billion in 2008, in order to provide UNAIDS with the resources necessary to reduce the epidemics.

MEPs express their deepest concern at the expansion of HIV/AIDS and other epidemics amongst the poorest populations in the world and at the lack of focus on prevention of HIV/AIDS, inaccessibility of key medicines, insufficient funding and the lack of research efforts on the major epidemics.

Parliament stresses the importance of accountability of governments, health service providers, the pharmaceutical industry, NGOs and civil society, and others involved in prevention, treatment and care. MEPs call on all international donors to work to ensure that HIV prevention programmes reach the people most at risk of infection as identified in the UNAIDS conclusion that these vulnerable groups are not being provided for The House stresses the need for the EU to fund specific programmes to ensure that those children affected by the AIDS epidemic through the loss of one or both parents or through contracting the disease themselves remain in education and are supported.

Parliament calls on all aid programmes to make sure that once a patient starts a course of treatment, funding is provided for continued uninterrupted treatment, in order to prevent the increased drug resistance that results from interrupted treatments.

Sexual and reproductive health

The House Stresses that the strategies needed to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic effectively must include a comprehensive approach to prevention, education, care and treatment and must include the technologies currently in use, expanded access to treatment and the development of vaccines as a matter of urgency. MEPs call on the European Commission and the governments of our partner countries to ensure that health and education, and HIV/AIDS and sexual and reproductive health in particular, are prioritised in Country Strategy Papers.

MEPs call on the Commission and Member States to support programmes that combat homophobia and break down the barriers that stop effective tackling of the disease, especially in Cambodia, China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam and across Latin America, where there is increasing evidence of HIV outbreaks among men who have sex with men. The House welcomes the inclusion of research into HIV/AIDS in the 7th Research Framework Programme and calls for research on vaccines and microbicides, diagnostic and monitoring tools suited to developing countries’ needs, epidemic transmission patterns and social and behavioural trends to be supported. The House underlines that women must be involved in all appropriate clinical research, including vaccine trials. Parliament also calls for investment in the development of female-controlled prevention methods such as microbicides, female condoms and post-exposure prophylaxis for survivors of rape.

Access to medicines

The House encourages governments to use all the possibilities available to them under the TRIPs Agreement, such as compulsory licences, and for the WHO and the WTO and its members to review the whole of the TRIPs Agreement with a view to improving access to medicines . MEPs calls on the Commission and the Member States to take the necessary steps in the WTO, in association with the developing countries, to modify the TRIPS Agreement and its article based on the Decision of 30 August 2003, particularly in order to abolish the complex, time‑consuming procedural steps needed for authorisation of compulsory licenses. The House meanwhile, encourages and calls on all countries facing major epidemics to make immediate use of Article 30 of the TRIPS Agreement to access the necessary medicines without paying royalties for patents to the right-owners.

Parliament supports the commitment made by heads of state and government at the 2005 UN World Summit calling for universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention services, treatment and care by 2010. The House believes, however, that a clear plan for funding universal access should be developed and international and interim progress targets set. Finally, MEPs call for support for the developing growth of regional and national generic drug industries in affected areas with a view to facilitating access to affordable drugs.

Ill post up the text of the resolution once its on the Parliaments website

Author: Stephen

Cork born and bred, proud European and Irishman. Involved in many organisations and politics. Also writes for SpirtualityIreland.org and UCC Express.

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