aidsfocus news

aidsfocus news
1 December 2016

Nov 30, 2016


World AIDS Day 2016

Dear aidsfocus readers,

Today we are celebrating World AIDS Day 2016 and raising our hands in support of the right to preventative measures! Along with their partner organisations, Medicus Mundi Switzerland/ are raising their hands to draw attention to the importance of prevention and destigmatisation in the fight against the virus. In September UNAIDS launched the Hands up for #HIVprevention campaign in respect of World AIDS Day.

The numbers speak for themselves: over two million people are newly infected with HIV every year. Among them are around 350,000 young women and girls between the ages of 10 and 24, the majority of whom live in southern Africa where girls and young women are disproportionately infected with HIV in comparison to young men of the same age group.

The cost of containing HIV is increasing with the growing number of HIV-infected people because, in accordance with WHO requirements, everyone aware of their status should receive immediate access to medical treatment (“Test and Treat”). At the same time, we are facing an HIV/AIDS financing fatigue. UNAIDS has to cut jobs at its headquarters whilst the Global Fund has only 10.3 billion dollars available for the next three years to combat HIV, malaria and TB. According to the figures, this lies well below the required 26 billion per year until 2020 required for the fight against HIV/AIDS alone.

Hence it is all the more important that we pay more attention to the prevention of HIV! Campaigns with a global reach are an important instrument in spreading awareness and applying pressure. Because money alone will not keep HIV at bay. It requires the joint commitment of the infected, politicians, religious leaders and national as well as international actors. We need the political intent and the right mindset to protect those sections of the population disproportionately affected by HIV with legislation and policies and to safeguard everyone’s right of access to information, counselling and treatment.

New infections must be contained especially amongst adolescents and young adults. Michelle Lanwer has interviewed our guest Maximina Jokonya from Africaid in Zimbabwe about this issue. Read and listen to the moving and fascinating interview with Maximina here.

Carine Weiss


Project Leader, Medicus Mundi Switzerland

Topic of the month

World AIDS Day 2016: Listen to Maximina Jokonya’s journey

Maximina Jokonya, a Zimbabwean HIV activist, born HIV positive, tells her personal journey and how treatment, love and respect changed her life to the better in 2006 when she commenced taking Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) at the Newlands Clinic supported by the Ruedi Lüthy Foundation.


Information from the Swiss community of practice

#HandsUp for #HIVPrevention for Adolescent Girls and Young Women

WORLD AIDS DAY 2016 - In the lead-up to World AIDS Day 2016 UNAIDS launched the #HandsUp for #HIVprevention campaign which explored different aspects of HIV prevention and how they relate to specific groups of people, such as adolescent girls and young women, key populations and people living with HIV. (Photo: HandsUp at the MMS Symposium 2016/ Christoph Engeli/MMS)


10.3 Billion USD is Available for the 2017-2019 Allocations to Countries

MMS/ participated at the 36th Global Fund Board Meeting from 16-17 November 2016 in Montreux - Efforts to Increase Impact in the Fight Against TB and MDR-TB is Urgent and CSOs call for urgency of operationalising the policy of sustainability, transitioning and cofinancing.


Newlands Clinic patient addresses Medicus Mundi conference

Ruedy Lüthy Foundation - "When Maximina Jokonya found out she was HIV-positive at the age of thirteen, it was as if her world had fallen apart. Today, the Newlands Clinic patient helps young people who have been similarly affected. In November, she came to Switzerland at the invitation of Medicus Mundi to talk about her experiences.


International news

Sex for Fish: Toward Gender Equality and Fewer HIV Infections

The Global Fund - "With help from community health volunteers, a group of women have organized themselves to become economically less dependent on men, in order to avoid the degrading practice called "Sex for Fish"."


Re-energizing HIV Prevention

The Global Fund - "An indispensable element of our efforts to end HIV as an epidemic – prevention – is lagging too far behind, and allowing too many people to be infected with the virus.


UN calls for urgent action to protect young women from HIV/Aids in Africa

The Guardian - Urgent action is needed to help and protect girls and young women from Aids in sub-Saharan Africa, thousands of whom are still being infected with HIV every week, the UN says. In 2015, 7,500 girls and young women aged 15 to 24 were infected with HIV every week.


HIV Fact Sheet

UNAIDS - The global HIV statistics have been published.


Broken systems breaking people - "Violence against women and HIV are inextricably linked, and for women of the populations most vulnerable to and affected by HIV this link is particularly strong. Research on violence experienced by women who use drugs in Malaysia provides insights into the nature of this relationship.


African nations attempt to suspend UN's LGBT rights monitor

The Guardian - African nations are seeking to suspend the work of the first UN independent expert charged with investigating violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.


Reports and Studies

World AIDS Day 2016: About 18 million people unable to access HIV treatment

Word Health Organization (WHO) - In advance of World AIDS Day, WHO has released new guidelines on HIV self-testing to improve access to and uptake of HIV diagnosis. According to a new WHO progress report lack of an HIV diagnosis is a major obstacle to implementing the Organization’s recommendation that everyone with HIV should be offered antiretroviral therapy (ART).


Get on the Fast-Track — The life-cycle approach to HIV

UNAIDS - "In this report, UNAIDS is announcing that 18.2 million people now have access to HIV treatment. The Fast-Track response is working. Increasing treatment coverage is reducing AIDS-related deaths among adults and children. But the life-cycle approach has to include more than just treatment. Tuberculosis (TB) remains among the commonest causes of illness and death among people living with HIV of all ages, causing about one third of AIDS-related deaths in 2015. These deaths could and should have been prevented."


Human Rights Handbook for Parliamentarians N° 26

Inter-Parliamentary Union / United Nations Human Rights - "Human rights are the bedrock principles which underpin all societies where there is rule of law and democracy. From the fight against violent extremism to the struggle to eliminate poverty and our approach to managing migration, international human rights law provides an essential framework and guidance to responsible and sustainable policy-making.


Growing recognition of transgender health

WHO Bulletin - "Stigma, discrimination and lack of legal recognition remain major barriers for transgender people to access the health services they need. Vijay Shankar Balakrishnan reports.


Link Up experiences of reaching adolescents living with HIV - "This brief highlights new understanding, gained through Link Up, around engaging and providing services for adolescents living with HIV. (...) Link Up, implemented by a global consortium led by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, aimed to meet the SRHR needs of 10-24 year olds most impacted by HIV, including those living with HIV, by ensuring integration of SRHR and HIV services, information and advocacy.



Building on Success – Malaria Control and Elimination

Swiss TPH, Symposium 8 December 2016 - The Swiss TPH Winter Symposium 2016 invites medical and health sector specialists to review and discuss the history, successes and future of Malaria Control and Elimination.


7th European Conference on African Studies

7th European Conference on African Studies, 29 June 2017 - The Centre for African Studies Basel and the Swiss Society for African Studies welcome you to the 7th European Conference on African Studies ECAS 2017 with the theme: Urban Africa - Urban Africans: New encounters of the rural and the urban, which they organise on behalf of the Research Network of African Studies Centres in Europe AEGIS.

read more... is a project of the Network Medicus Mundi Switzerland.