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Technical Brief: 2021 Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS

1 December, 2021

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In June 2021, Member States at the United Nations High-Level Meeting (HLM) on HIV and AIDS adopted a Political Declaration to end inequalities and get on track to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. INPUD was actively engaged in the HLM process, sitting on the HLM Multistakeholder Task Force, coordinated by AIDSFONDS and GNP+, and working collectively on the speaker selection for the HLM Multi-stakeholder Hearing. This ensured a diversity of community voices and perspectives were heard and fed into the 2021 Political Declaration. In the lead up to the HLM, where the Declaration was to be adopted, INPUD engaged with people who use drugs, civil society delegates, and member state representatives around the world to shape and influence the various iterations of the 2021 Political Declaration.

The Political Declaration that was adopted reflected gains made in some key relevant areas for our communities. Key populations, HIV prevention, and harm reduction were more prominent as compared to the 2016 Political Declaration, and the 10-10-10 targets on societal enablers and community-led responses were included. All these areas can bolster our future advocacy on harm reduction, drug law reform, stigma and discrimination, and peer leadership. Due to aggressive opposition on issues related to human rights, harm reduction, and law reform, many critical areas, including specific language on decriminalisation, were diluted, but there are still important entry points and targets for our advocacy. 

This technical brief has been developed for and by people who use drugs to have a better understanding of the 2021 Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS, identify the areas of relevance in the document, and consider on how it can be used at global, regional, country, and state levels to enhance the chances that commitments in the Political Declaration are met over the next five years. This brief should be read in parallel with INPUD’s briefing note on the Global AIDS Strategy (GAS) 2021-2026.