It is possible to end the HIV epidemic once and for all. But prejudice, discrimination, and a lack of political resolve are blocking the path to the final victory over one of the most lethal epidemics in recent history.
It is our mission to bring reinforcements to the fight against HIV so that we – in collaboration with local as well as global partners – can end AIDS by 2030.
Rikke Nagell – Head of the International Department
The Sustainable Development Goals
AIDS-Fondet’s work is guided by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the important principle of Leaving No One Behind.
It is natural to embrace the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a powerful framework to deal with the issues we as humanity are facing – and in the case of AIDS-Fondet, the issues that people at risk of contracting or already living with HIV are facing.
The work we do – from advocacy on the global scene to local projects with grassroots partners – can therefore be linked to one or more corresponding Sustainable Development Goals.
On top of the list of goals that AIDS-Fondet works to achieve is SDG 3 – with special attention to target 3.3
Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being at all ages is essential to sustainable development.
By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases.
Below is a list of the SDGs that are most relevant in the fight against HIV – at AIDS-Fondet we work consistently with some and touch upon all to some extent.
The initial matching of SDGs to areas of relevance to the fight against HIV was done by UNAIDS.
By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day
Poverty can increase vulnerability to HIV infection.
The unequal socioeconomic status of women affects their ability to prevent or mitigate the effects of HIV. Households affected by HIV are more vulnerable to falling into and remaining in poverty
Hunger can increase vulnerability to acquiring HIV by increasing risk-taking behaviour and negatively affecting treatment adherence.
Advanced HIV-related illness impairs nutritional status and undermines household food security by reducing productivity.
The majority of adolescents and young people globally do not have accurate and comprehensive knowledge about HIV.
Providing them with quality comprehensive sexuality education empowers them with the knowledge and skills they need to make responsible and informed health decisions to improve their self-esteem and to change harmful attitudes and gender and social norms.
Gender inequalities, discrimination, violence and harmful practices negatively affect women, girls, men and boys and increase the risk of HIV infection and its impact.
HIV is the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age (15–44 years old). Women living with HIV often face increased violence.
Safe and secure work environments facilitate access to HIV services, especially for workers in informal employment, such as undocumented migrants and sex workers.
Through the work environment, HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services reach mobile workers, migrant workers, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex workers, mine workers and other vulnerable workers.
HIV affects vulnerable and disempowered communities most severely. Stigma and discrimination against key populations is a major contributor to high HIV prevalence among them and is linked to lower access to health care and housing.
Protection against discrimination, alongside legal services, rights literacy, access to justice and international protection, can empower people to claim their rights and enhance access to HIV services.
HIV especially affects cities and urban areas, with 200 cities accounting for more than one quarter of the world’s people living with HIV.
With rapid urbanization, many cities contend with growing HIV epidemics; people living in slums often acquire HIV at higher rates than the rest of the city.
Exclusion, stigma, discrimination and violence fuel the HIV epidemic among adults and children.
The AIDS response, led by people living with and affected by HIV, has demanded access to justice and pioneered people-centred accountability mechanisms, providing lessons on which to build.
Global collective action to improve access to affordable HIV commodities is critical to ending the AIDS epidemic.
Efforts to secure affordable HIV commodities, including second- and third-line medicines, can benefit wider health and equity agendas, including for tuberculosis, hepatitis C and non-communicable diseases. Partnerships are critical to the SDG agenda and the AIDS response has been at the forefront of developing innovations in this area, particularly with civil society and communities.
Leaving No One Behind
The SDGs stand on an important foundation; the principle of Leaving No One Behind. This permeates all the SDGs and is meant to inform any development effort so that the weakest part of the target, those hardest to reach, are considered and included.
Even if it is hard – and because it is hard.
Development efforts aimed at uplifting people aren’t complete if they cannot lift up those at the very bottom. The most vulnerable and the most marginalized. And this is a principle that is fully integrated into our work as AIDS-Fondet.
Through our programme work in Uganda and Malawi our local partners target some of the most vulnerable groups – it is core to our mission to uplift the people that we must not leave behind. They are never an afterthought – they are at the top of our minds.
In addition AIDS-Fondet uses any opportunity to remind governments and the world of the commitment to not leaving anyone behind.
Partnerships and collaboration are core to how we work at AIDS-Fondet. From working in partnership with local organizations led by the vulnerable people that we work for – to global partnerships seeking to create innovative HIV prevention methods and novel treatment or ensure global attention to the issue of AIDS.
At the grassroots level AIDS-Fondet takes an approach based on a strategic principle of inclusion – “nothing about us without us”.
To the greatest extent possible, we collaborate with organisations that are either led by or have a high degree of inclusion of people directly affected by the issues the organisation works with.
We work with organisations led by or employing sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender people and more.
Our collaborative model is aligned to the Sustainable Development Goal 17.
If you want to go fast, go alone
If you want to go far, go together
Creating a push from the grassroots level is essential for change locally, but for change to take effect on a global and structural level, it must happen in tandem with increased global awareness and pushing HIV to the top of the world agenda – for an AIDS free tomorrow.