30 ตุลาคม 2566 , 00:00 - 00:00 น.
Young People’s Lusaka Declaration
Call to Action: The time is now! Accelerating access of effective long-acting antiviral drugs to all for treatment and prevention.
We the young people from the undersigned organizations take this opportunity to issue our declaration on accelerating the access of effective long-acting antiviral drugs for HIV treatment and prevention to all globally.
Despite the great progress made in the HIV treatment and prevention cascade over the past four decades, HIV treatment and prevention options are limited, especially in the Global South where HIV prevalence remains the highest. As innovations become available, inequalities stall progress.
Current antiretroviral regimens have transformed HIV from a deadly disease into a manageable chronic condition. But young people living with and at risk of acquiring HIV encounter various challenges in adherence and persistence with daily pill taking, such as treatment fatigue and forgetfulness which could potentially be solved through longer acting treatment and prevention options.
As highlighted in the 7th HIV and Adolescence workshop 2023 in Lusaka, Zambia and throughout the past years, there is robust clinical evidence supporting the effectiveness of the much-anticipated injectable antiretroviral therapy (ART) and pre-exposure prevention (PrEP) therapy. Long-acting and extended-release formulations currently under development have the potential to overcome barriers presented by daily oral therapy and improve treatment adherence and promote the quality of life of young people living with or at risk of acquiring HIV all over the world.
We, the youth advocates for comprehensive HIV care, treatment and prevention, declare our support for the development, accessibility, affordability and integration of HIV injectable treatments and preventions as an essential component of HIV treatment and care.
The long-acting injectable treatments increase options and offer choice for both treatment and prevention. Choice is what we need and choice potentially addresses many of the challenges we face with our treatment and prevention.
The long-acting injectable ARTs will likely improve the quality of our lives by promoting room for self-care and agency. Promoting self-care also potentially reduces the burden on the healthcare system.
For some of us facing challenges with daily medication adherence, injectable therapies can offer extended protection and treatment and reduce the burden of frequent healthcare visits and daily pill consumption.
Increased Adherence and Convenience: By reducing the burden of daily adherence, injectable treatments offer convenience, alleviate some of the individual responsibility of adhering to treatment, and enable individuals to maintain consistent viral suppression, increasing opportunities for U=U and ultimately leading to improved health outcomes, including mental health.
Prevention Benefits: Long-acting pre-exposure prophylaxis (LA-PrEP) injectables, when made accessible, can provide discreet and effective prevention options for individuals at risk of acquiring HIV who struggle to meet the challenge of daily oral PrEP.
Empowering Communities: The availability of longer acting treatment and prevention can enable young people to take greater control of their health. By offering alternative options beyond daily oral medications, injectable treatments and prevention provide young people l the opportunity to choose a treatment or prevention modality that best suits their lifestyle and preferences, fostering autonomy and self-care and decreasing exposure to stigma.
We urge the pharmaceutical industry responsible for these new drugs to recognise the urgency and the inequality. These long-acting injectable antiviral treatments and prevention need to be available, accessible, affordable and integrated into our health care rapidly. Young lives are being lost and young people infected despite the existing evidence for effectiveness.
We call on our governments, The Global Fund, PEPFAR, and all other key partners to mobilize and advance a future where HIV injectable treatments and prevention are widely accessible, supported by policy makers, and integrated into comprehensive HIV care and prevention strategies.
We urge pharmaceuticals and researchers to continue with research into new HIV treatment and prevention options that can be efficiently and safely tested and made easily and urgently available to all young people all over the world until HIV is no longer a global health threat.
● UNITED movement
● HIV & Adolescence 2023 Youth Reference Group
● Zambia Youth Hub
● Global Network of Young People living with HIV( Y+ Global)
● Operation Triple Zero
● Paediatric Adolescent Treatment Africa (PATA)
● Penta Foundazione Young Reporter’s