We call on new DG of WHO to include key populations in HIV response

The Alliance welcomes the election of the first ever African Director General to lead the World Health Organisation (WHO). However, we call on the newly elected Director General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, to ensure that every person living with HIV, including key populations such as men who have sex with men, people who use drugs, transgender people, migrants and adolescents, are an integral part of the leadership he provides on the HIV response.

Scaling up local community responses for health is key to ending AIDS by 2030 and to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. In Ethiopia, where Dr Tedros was formerly Minister of Health, we have seen a strengthening of the role of communities and community based organisations in the health system.

We welcome the commitments he made in running for the position of Director General to “prioritize building strong, community-based health systems which can design and implement locally tailored prevention and treatment programmes”.

The election comes at a critical moment, when WHO has the opportunity to drive major public health victories. Universal health coverage can be a reality only with political commitment to those most marginalized.

Dr Tedros committed to universal health coverage, and to ensure that each person living with HIV has access to the HIV prevention, treatment and care services they need.

Universal health coverage will also help populations key to the HIV response reach HIV prevention, treatment and care services. Dr Tedros committed to provide Member States with the normative tools, guidance and support they need to implement these policies.