The platform of the Americas and the Caribbean of Coalition Plus, whose headquarters is Kimirina, organized a regional consultation from May 27 to 29, in conjunction with the International Coalition for Treatment Preparation in Latin America and the Caribbean (ITPC-LATCA), both networks, concerned to learn from the perspective of the response of civil society on the situation in our different countries on access to ARVs and social security systems.
Supported by a common concern about social security, as an instance that has demonstrated shortcomings in the provision of ART and in adequate clinical monitoring of PLWHA affiliated to its system in most countries, such aspects, and in times of epidemic of coronavirus, people living with HIV and those affected by this virus, these circumstances, have deepened the conditions of social vulnerability, inequity and potential disrespect or directly violation of their human rights.
The consultation not only revealed the similarities in relation to the HIV response, but also highlighted key aspects of the community experience from their different latitudes to adequately respond to the emergency raised by COVID-19.
From the North of the Continent, Coq Sida from Canada emphasized in this consultation on the need, in this context, not to leave behind the full involvement of people affected by epidemics and community response systems, with the empowered participation of social actors and more or less the same echo was heard from the francophone Caribbean. From Central America, Costa Rica and Mexico, in particular, it seems to be solitary in terms of having a solid social security system that has spaces for effective participation of their rights, more, however, civil society has had to face very strong attacks of ending the government's responsibility to contribute to responses to HIV from civil society.
The corona virus is hitting very strongly throughout the subregion, the systems have not been prepared and a similar situation has been identified in the Andean region with a notable difference from Colombia, which has a private health system. The consultation has expressed the immense concern of civil society actors about the frank evidence, not only of weakness in the health supply in the region, but also of the difficulties of state administration, poor infrastructure, and weak governance. in many of them and even with clear demonstrations of corruption.
It has been a hopeful contribution to learn about the experience of social monitoring in Venezuela, a country that has suffered a ferocious dismantling of its public health and HIV response, but whose civil society, with the support of other members of the international arena, has managed to develop compliance (surveillance) community of the situation to denounce and propose, but also in the generation and gathering of information. Report injustice, propose a solution. Allow the right to information to occur. It is a great example to follow.
In times of COVID pandemic, we witness in all the horrifying countries the manipulation and concealment of the truth that is made about the situation of our health systems - which have proven to be very weak - and the real situation of the epidemic and health and the life that is being claimed, particularly among the weakest. We are witnessing a humanitarian crisis, which predominantly affects, among others, actors from our key populations. The shortcomings of the structural determinants of health: social, economic, cultural, are having serious impacts. And in the context of this devastating panorama, we also witness the revival of disrespect and violation of human rights in the exercise of individual liberties, clearly under the pretext of the pandemic.
The consultation allowed us to know that there are always hopes, from the Southern Cone, Argentina with crisis management focused on the assistance of technical experts, without particular interests and with decisions and leadership of political decision-makers, it has been one of the countries that has best managed to deal with the coronavirus. In that country and in others that walk better, a common denominator: the active and empowered participation of civil society, teaches us that we should all join forces in that direction, be a fist and a collective voice as civil society and community actors that Articulated in networks or between various efforts throughout our American geography, we can defend health and life and ensure that the most excluded are effectively incorporated into public policies and that States are truly guarantors of rights. In this framework, the spirit of Coalition Plus is fulfilled and makes sense the vocation of Kimirina, from the Quichua word "working together for an end".