After two decades of remarkable progress, the HIV response risks grinding to a halt or, worse, slips backwards.
New HIV infections remain stubbornly high at almost two million per year and close to one million people lost their lives to AIDS-related illnesses in 2017. Therefore, long-term investment in community advocacy and community-led responses is critical at this stage of the HIV response.
The Partnership to Inspire, Transform and Connect the HIV response (PITCH) supports community-based organisations to uphold the rights of populations most affected by HIV and engage in effective advocacy, generate robust evidence and develop meaningful policy solutions.
This support is critical as less than 1% of global funding for HIV is directed to advocacy. PITCH partners drive local and national action to secure sufficient funding for the HIV response. They challenge and change discriminatory laws and policies that marginalise people and increase their risk of acquiring HIV.
We do this by building our partnership networks, enhancing the use of evidence and strengthening the capacity of civil society to advocate.
By the end of the programme, civil society will hold governments to account, use evidence from constituencies, reduce barriers to services, and shape an effective HIV response.
PITCH reaches out to adolescent girls and young women (AGYW), lesbian, gay, transgender and intersex (LGBTI), men who have sex with men (MSM), people who use drugs (PUWD) and sex workers.
In addition, a regional approach is used for Southern Africa and Eastern Europe/Central Asia to deliver policy work and capacity building at a regional and global level.
Global funding for the HIV response is in decline. The political will to end AIDS is receding as governments deal with multiple challenges including nationalism, populism, conflict and instability. These challenges contribute to increasingly polarised societies. However, globally there are still 36.9 million people living with HIV and in 2017 there were 1.8 million new infections.
HIV prevalence is estimated to be 28 times higher among people who inject drugs, 12 times higher among sex workers, 19 times higher among men who have sex with men and up to 49 times higher among transgender people than among the rest of the adult population. In Sub-Saharan Africa, three in four new infections are among girls and young women are twice as likely to be living with HIV.
Through effective advocacy, PITCH partners are making a difference for these groups most affected by HIV in Indonesia, Kenya, Myanmar, Mozambique, Nigeria, Uganda, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.
PITCH also works regionally in Southern Africa, Easter Europe and Central Asia. In these regions new HIV infections are on the rise, for instance in Eastern Europe and Central Asia the annual number of new HIV infections has doubled.