08/10/2013

The More Peace Less AIDS Head Office Opens in Panama

Argentina – Uniendo Metas – October 8th, 2013

“We believe that world leaders understand that without peace, there is no chance of successful AIDS prevention” said Patricia Pérez, President of the More Peace Less AIDS Foundation to the Telam News Agency. The former leader and president of the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS stated that “the traditional model of family and gender violence, bullying in schools as well as discrimination against the sick should be discarded because without the efforts to eliminate these critical issues, AIDS will continue to triumph above all”.

The official launching of the branch in Panama will take place on the 18th-19th of November as part of the “Development of Women’s Leadership in Latin America” workshop which will bring together officials and regional leaders that will examine the aforementioned issues from a Latin American perspective.

“The foundation became legally recognized last year and when the idea of creating it arose for the very first time, it seemed quite insane. However, now we can proudly say that we are growing in numbers and that in the coming year we plan to open up a headquarters in Europe and by 2015, one in Africa as well” said Pérez.

In November 2007, the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS, ICW Global, presented “The More Peace Less AIDS” campaign for the very first time in Managua, Nicaragua. It soon gained recognition across five continents.

“There was a need to develop new forms of outreach to populations most affected by violence” said Daniel Barberis, the Foundation’s Vice-President, “this was where the campaign was most successful,” he added. Barberis explained that due to the campaign’s success they decided to create a foundation which highlighted its values and which was “inclusive to all sexes, whether populations or initiatives had a direct or indirect relation to HIV/AIDS”. He concluded: “everyone will have a space”.

Barberis further stated that: “We understand that peace is not only an absence of war, but an absence of all forms of violence. With 1% of what is spent a year on arms, treatment could be provided and guaranteed to the 37 million people around the world who reported their disease and who are suffering from AIDS”.

The Vice-President added that “anyone who thinks that AIDS is a health issue and nothing more is not understanding the real significance of the disease”. 

“The medical-scientific aspect of the disease will be solved in the short-term, however if we do not focus on the political issues involved and on the peace-building necessary, pills or a vaccine will not make a difference” he argued. In this sense, Barberis pointed out that in order to achieve successful HIV/AIDS prevention one has to “search in other places that do not solely include the scientific or clinical side”.

“With peace, more resources are available for education, health and human dignity, which lessens the chances of the success of AIDS-transmission” he concluded.