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Toronto, November 19, 2012 For immediate release

ICASO congratulates Ambassador Mark Dybul on his appointment as Global Fund Executive Director
Now lets get back to the business of saving lives
Almost a year ago to the day, the Global Fund cancelled Round 11 at its 25th Board Meeting in Accra. The fallout has been tremendous. According to a recent report by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) and the Open Society Foundations (OSF), had Round 11 not been cancelled, it would have been a watershed moment in southern Africa. Some countries, including Swaziland, were planning to include interventions for sex workers and men who have sex with men (MSM) in Global Fund proposals for the first time. In Swaziland, there were plans to include activities addressing the HIV prevention needs of a small community of people who inject drugs. There are stories like these from around the globe. The cancellation of Round 11 and the ensuing brouhaha that resulted from the appointment of General Manager Gabriel Jaramillo has translated into missed opportunities to scale up important interventions such as the prevention of vertical transmission; adopt better technologies for treatment, diagnostics and other commodities; and address persistent barriers to accessing services. Plainly stated; people got sick or sicker, people suffered and people died. As the Global Fund ushers in new leadership and a new funding model with great enthusiasm, let us not forget the communities at the center of the AIDS epidemic. ICASO urges Dr. Dybul to lead the Global Fund Secretariat to: Ensure that every proposal approved by the Global Fund is evidence-based and grounded in the respect for human rights as per the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) and the Gender Equality Strategies. Ensure that the Global Fund remains global and that a sufficient pool of funding is available for key populations, particularly in middle income countries.

Create mechanisms that allow key populations to access resources directly from the Global Fund, particularly in cases where criminalization or stigma prevent them from fully participating in Country Coordinating Mechanisms. Commit to investing in the roll out and scale up of interventions that build and strengthen community systems.

ICASO continues to be committed to working with the Global Fund to facilitate the inclusion and leadership of communities in its response to HIV. At this critical stage of the epidemic, with the end of AIDS in sight, the pressure is on to get it right. We know better, so we have to do better. The Global Fund may have a new business model but right now, we urgently need to get back to basics: the business of saving lives. ****************************************** Since its creation in 1991, ICASO has facilitated the inclusion and leadership of communities in the effort to bring about an end to the AIDS pandemic, recognizing the importance of promoting health and human rights as part of this undertaking.

For more information, please contact: Mary Ann Torres Executive Director ICASO +1 416 419-6338 Information on the work of ICASO and its partners is available at