aidsfocus news

aidsfocus news
April 2016

Apr 27, 2016


Women are being left behind!

Dear aidsfocus readers

Since the start of the HIV epidemic, women have been at a higher risk of contracting the disease than men. More than half the people currently living with HIV are women. AIDS is the most common cause of death among women of reproductive age – worldwide! The numbers amongst young people are also shocking: in sub-Saharan Africa, almost three times as many young women and girls as young men in the same age group are living with HIV.

The reasons for women facing an increased risk of contracting HIV are well-known: violence, in particular gender-based violence, plays a key role alongside limited access to universal healthcare, a lack of education and the difficulties women face when negotiating the use of condoms.

The Global Fund is therefore supporting specific programmes in its new 2017-2022 strategy which target gender equality. Countries are required to concentrate more on developing gender-specific strategies in order to safeguard access to universal healthcare. The Global Fund is also supporting these countries to embed appropriate programmes in their national health strategies. And UNAIDS is placing a focus on women, above all young women.

We will only succeed in containing this epidemic if we address its root causes. This requires states to have the political will to better protect and support their women! At the High Level Meeting in New York in June 2016, the new political declaration on HIV/AIDS will be adopted – and not only that: we will also be undertaking a review of what has been implemented in the past five years since the last declaration was passed.

This newsletter is dedicated to women.

Carine Weiss


Project Leader, Medicus Mundi Switzerland

Topic of the month

Women are being left behind! - Guaranteeing their rights and empowering women and girls affected by or at risk of HIV is key to achieving sustainable development goal 3.3 “ending AIDS as an epidemic by 2030”.


Information from the Swiss community of practice

Conference 4 May 2016: Applying Human Rights to Sexual and Reproductive Health - A reality for all?

MMS/ - At this year’s MMS/ conference we will be addressing the issues of Human Rights to sexual and reproductive health, how a human rights based approach to programming can be applied, how to address gender inequalities which infringe human rights and we will be talking about the importance of advocacy.


Viral load measurement will become possible in Lesotho

SolidarMed - While it has long been recommended by the World Health Organization, the vast majority of HIV patients in southern Africa have no access to affordable viral load measurement. Thus, the beneficial effects are not precisely measurable and it can come to unnoticed treatment failure.


HIV-Film "Just like You"

mission 21 - This documentary of the Tanzanian director Nicholas Calvin Mwakatobe highlights the life of special people in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. They come together in a support-group with the name «Lusubilo» (Hope). Even though they are infected with HIV, they do not remain silent about the disease. They give each other support and encourage others that are infected to be open and live «positively».


Food crisis in Zimbabwe threatens Newlands Clinic patients

Swiss Aids Care International Amid severe drought conditions, Zimbabwe and large parts of Southern Africa face an impending food crisis. 600 patients of Newlands Clinic and their families are particularly at threat. An emergency food relief programme aims to provide basic sustenance to a total of some 3,000 people for one year. To cover the costs of CHF 310,000, a special fundraising campaign was launched at the end of March.


International news

AIDS 2016: What's new ?

AIDS 2016 - The 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) will be taking place on 18-22 July in Durban, South Africa. This webinar provides a full overview of recent announcements, expanding access to the conference, an overview of the conference programme and registration process, key updates, and how to connect to the conference.


I wanted to raise my hand: HIV can be manageable in Zimbabwe

Key Correspondence - "When I came to the UK in September 2015 to study at the University of Sussex, I was told that the HIV medication I was on, was not available, which was frustrating. It was frustrating because instead of taking a single pill containing different antiretroviral drugs, as I had been doing at home in Zimbabwe, I now had to take three different pills a day.


Search is on for quick and accurate measures of HIV incidence to assess impacts of interventions

Science Speak - "How do you measure the impact of DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe women)? FIND (Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics) researchers highlight issues, answers in tracking HIV incidence.


Removing Human Rights Barriers to End the HIV Epidemic

The Global Fund - "The Global Fund made a strong appeal to address human rights issues as a key component of efforts to end epidemics such as AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.


Reports and Studies

Letter to the Global Fund from MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières)

Médecins sans Frontières - Dear Mark Dybul, Dear Members of the Secretariat and Global Fund Board of Directors,


Empowering women is critical to ending the AIDS epidemic

UNAIDS, Geneva, 8 March 2015—As we celebrate International Women’s Day, world leaders and civil society are gathering in New York to take part in the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. There, they will review the progress made since the adoption 20 years ago of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which set ambitious targets designed to improve the lives of women around the world.


UNAIDS urges countries to adopt a people-, rights- and health-centred approach to reverse the HIV epidemic among people who inject drugs

UNAIDS - A new UNAIDS report says insufficient coverage of harm reduction programmes and policies that criminalize and marginalize people who inject drugs are failing to reduce new HIV infections.


UN Panel Discussion on Human Rights and HIV/AIDS

United Nations, 11 Mar 2016 - Panel discussion on the progress in and challenges of addressing human rights issues in the context of efforts to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030.



Conference 2016: Applying Human Rights to Sexual and Reproductive Health - A reality for all?

MMS/, 4 May 2016 - At this year’s MMS/ conference we will be addressing the issues of Human Rights to sexual and reproductive health, how a human rights based approach to programming can be applied, how to address gender inequalities which infringe human rights and we will be talking about the importance of advocacy.


21st International AIDS Conference

AIDS 2016, 17 July 2016 - It is with pleasure that we invite you to take part in the 21st International AIDS Conference, on 17-22 July 2016 in Durban, South Africa. The biennial International AIDS Conference truly is the premier meeting where science, leadership and community meet for advancing all facets of our collective efforts to treat and prevent HIV.


Health in Fragile Contexts

MMS/SRC/SDC, 24 August 2016 - In an increasing number of countries the implementation of health programmes is challenged by fragile contexts. At the same time, fragility of a state is considered as one of the main causes for malfunctioning health services. Emergency situations aggravate such situation and reveal the weaknesses of the system. These settings evoke not only questions on how to adapt to shaking working environment or on sustainability, but also whether health programmes could make a contribution to reduce fragility.

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