Conference 2004: Living with AIDS. Treatment and care for all

Conference 2004: Living with AIDS. Treatment and care for all

20.04.2004 | Bern

A second chance at life! This is the way people infected with HIV/AIDS experience the blessings of antiretroviral treatment. However, this is only true for those living in Northern countries, while the 6 million infected people in the South and the East are left out and continue to struggle with the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS.

Médecins sans Frontières as well as other organisations have demonstrated with pilot projects that antiretroviral treatment can be used safely and effectively even in settings where the health infrastructure is poor and resources are scarce. At global scale, the World Health Organisation (WHO) launched the 3 by 5 Initiative, a commitment to get three million people on antiretroviral therapy by the end of 2005.

Effective treatment and care goes beyond providing pills. Better access to treatment needs to occur through approaches of comprehensive care, linking other efforts such as HIV prevention and psycho-social support. Responses should be embedded in a continuum of care, and should actively involve people with HIV, their families and communities.

Improving access to treatment and care is a humanitarian imperative – and a great challenge for Swiss NGOs and institutions.

Objectives of the conference:

• Understanding of the challenges of comprehensive HIV/AIDS treatment and care in resource poor settings in the South and the East

• Getting to know the 3 by 5 initiative of the WHO, the state of its implementation and the challenges for Swiss NGOs and institutions

• Sharing of experiences and lessons learnt of Swiss NGOs in the implementation of HIV/AIDS related treatment and care in resource poor settings

• Clarifying personal commitments for practical implementation


  • Dr. Claudia Kessler, Swiss Tropical Institute, Basel: Access to treatment and care: An introduction
  • Dr. Alexandra Calmy, Médecins Sans Frontières, Geneva: Antiretroviral treatment in resource-poor settings - Feasibility and challenges
  • Dr. Paulo Teixeira, Director of the HIV/AIDS department, World Health Organisation, Geneva: The 3 by 5 initiative
  • Jeanne Gapiya Niyonzima, Fondatrice de ANSS, Burundi : De la prévention au traitement. Expérience d’une association burundaise
  • Beata Umubyeyi, Médecins Sans Frontières, Cameroon: Providing antiretroviral treatment in a continuum of care - The Cameroon experience
  • Dr. Jamiu Peleowo, Medical Doctor, Swiss Red Cross, Swaziland: Implementation of ARV-Therapies in rural areas of Swaziland - Problems, constraints and strategies