The world is uniting under the banner of 'Let Communities Lead' for this year's World AIDS Day. The theme underscores the pivotal role of community involvement in the battle against AIDS, with a shared vision to conquer the disease by 2033. In 2022, AIDS led to 630 thousand deaths globally, with Indonesia grappling with 26,000 fatalities. Despite a 38% decrease in worldwide HIV infection rates since 2010, hurdles persist, particularly in securing accessible access to anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment, an issue that predominantly plagues Indonesia where two-thirds of people living with HIV (PLHIV) are without ARVs.
Community Leadership in HIV Response
UNAIDS Country Director for Indonesia, Tina Boonto, in a press briefing on November 28, 2023, emphasized the importance of community leadership in HIV plans and programs. She pressed for sustainable funding to support these initiatives. The UNAIDS's World AIDS Day Report is a testament to the impact of communities in the HIV response, from securing medicines to combating the associated stigma.
Evidences of Community-Led Efforts
Indonesia showcases some success stories in the form of initiatives like the human rights accountability mechanism for HIV-based discrimination and the promotion of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). These community-led efforts have demonstrated the potential of a bottom-up approach in managing the AIDS crisis.
Indonesia's Fight Against AIDS
The Indonesian Ministry of Health is steadfast in its commitment to eradicating AIDS by 2030. The strategies in play aim for zero new infections, deaths, and discrimination. The Ministry acknowledges the crucial role of health workers in early intervention and treatment. Together with UNAIDS, it advocates for stronger community-led actions, better funding, and supportive laws to make substantial strides in ending AIDS by the target year.