After nearly two years in the making, John Foster and I have finished our policy brief on Canada’s response to global HIV/AIDS pandemic for the North-South Institute. The document involved extensive research (including a trip to the XVI International AIDS Conference) and eleven interviews with representatives from government, civil society, and academia.
The brief (click here to download) makes 36 recommendations for how Canada can better focus its policies in order to make good on its commitment to help the international community achieve universal access to treatment, care and prevention for HIV/AIDS by 2010. Chief among these suggestions are for the government to:
- improve the coherence between its policies for development, immigration, and international finance;
- reduce the conditions countries must meet before they can receive aid and debt relief;
- stop relying on internationally trained health workers to meet domestic shortages;
- ensure that intellectual property rights do not prevent medicines from reaching those in need;
- support innovative efforts to raise funds for HIV/AIDS interventions, such as UNITAID; and
- show increased political leadership by appointing a Canadian AIDS ambassador to coordinate the government’s response to the pandemic.
Several hundred copies of the report have been distributed to parliamentarians, policy makers, and activists. So far, the document has been very well received, and was used extensively by the Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development in the preparation of a consultation document on the future of Canada’s global engagement on HIV/AIDS.
Download: Policy Briefing