Barcelona cannot be one more conference during which we hear people trot out slogans such as « close the gap », « end the silence on AIDS », « the expertise and commitment to act » without anything more crucial coming out of it.
Barcelona cannot be one more conference during which we declare that people infected with AIDS must have access to life-prolonging treatment wherever they may live ; prove that it is feasible ; repeat that medicines can be produced and sold at a low cost ; and show that health care and treatment regimens can be made simple ; while at the grass-roots level, for sick people and those who every day battle to save lives, death and exhaustion are their common lot for lack of financial resources.
The war against AIDS was declared by the powerful leaders of this world more than a year ago. Pledges were made, but they have not been honoured.
Where is the ten billion dollars pledged by the G8 countries and the member states of the United Nations ?
Where is the ten billion dollars which could make all the difference, enable millions of sick people to remain alive, millions of people not to become infected and field workers to do their job under decent conditions ?
Such a question which is preying on many people’s minds, must forcefully be raised in Barcelona. If we raise this question, we will prove we are determined to fight and trully angry and justifiably so. At the same time, we will shame all those who refuse to loosen the purse strings.
Today nations and donors must meet their commitments. Their dithering and refusing to give the funds they pledged, leads to our dying, our families and friends dying and brings death and destruction to entire countries and all continents. We have long gone beyond the limits of what is bearable. A conference for next to nothing will be one too many.