e-Bulletin e-Bulletin 18.10.2004 e-Bulletin 18.10.2004 in English

Oct 18, 2004



Dear Reader,

"No, we don't have any health projects", this is a common answer I get from programme officers when I ask them about the challenges of HIV/AIDS in the communities they work in, and how they deal with them. However, more and more often I hear: "We just started with AIDS prevention as part of our vocational training in Mozambique", or: "We need to integrate HIV/AIDS in our environmental programmes. What is the use of the most sophisticated projects if the people we work are too sick to participate or die?"

The fact that HIV/AIDS is not just a health issue but an issue that interferes with every segment of people's livelihood and therefore needs to be integrated into all development interventions, this fact becomes progressively common knowledge. This focuses on mainstreaming HIV/AIDS and provides recent experiences, documents and courses on what mainstreaming means in practice.

Helena Zweifel Coordinator



A case study of ACORD Tanzania. Mainstreaming HIV/AIDS into the core business of development has been seen as an important part of the process of achieving the vision of an AIDS-competent society. For ACORD Tanzania, the concept of mainstreaming HIV/AIDS in practice has meant developing a community-led rights-based approach, where the community is encouraged to take the lead in bringing about AIDS competence. The role of the community becomes critical at every level, from on-the-ground services through to national-level policies. The process of moving towards AIDS competence needs to evolve through a spiral of learning, action and reflection, challenging problems and making the best use of available opportunities. By promoting the role of the community, HIV/AIDS becomes fully mainstreamed into sustainable and relevant development plans.

ACORD Tanzania's role in this cycle is as a facilitator rather than leader. Community-led change towards AIDS competence can take many forms, but in NW Tanzania it included: . increased participation of women and PLHA in decision-making processes . awareness of and enforcement of the inheritance rights of widows and orphans . decline in cases of sexual violence and abuse . women feeling more valued by their community . increased transparency and responsiveness on the part of local government structures . improvements in health service delivery . the growth of community structures representing specific rights and needs . better partnerships between government agencies and communities . and opportunities to share experiences and learn lessons through networks. (2004)


Published by Oxfam in association with ActionAid and Save the Children UK, this book is written for policy-makers, managers, and programme staff, to promote debate about the challenges that confront them by the AIDS pandemic. It is about adapting mainstream development and humanitarian work to create a holistic response to the impact of AIDS on poor and marginalised communities. It also addresses the need to modify internal human-resource policies to protect employees and the on-going work of any organisation operating in AIDS-prone contexts.

The major part of the book consists of practical examples of what mainstreaming means for both internal organisation and external programming. The problems inherent in the approach are dealt with frankly and constructively. The lessons learned from some recent innovative work are summarised in the concluding chapter. The Resources section lists a wide range of useful materials and offers ten user-friendly units which provide step-by-step guidance. (2004)


In spite of the fact that up to 80% of the people in the most affected countries depend on agriculture for their subsistence, most of the response to the epidemic has come from the health sector. The agricultural sector cannot continue with "business as usual" in communities where vast numbers of adults are dead, leaving only the elderly and children. It has to revise the content and delivery of its services, as well as the process of transferring agricultural knowledge.

A new focus on agricultural responses is needed. Effective solutions rely on the agricultural sector and its capacity to reduce people's vulnerability to acquire the disease. The agricultural sector is in a strong position to assist in both the prevention and mitigation of the consequences of HIV/AIDS. Moreover, it has a responsibility to those people who depend on agriculture for their survival.

Publications, links and e-fora on mainstreaming HIV/AIDS into the rural sector.


A successful experience on mainstreaming: The regional HIV/AIDS Programme for the Pacific of UNDP through its Small Grants Facility supported a local village that had been rumoured to now have a HIV positive couple. The couple, who are members of the Village Youth Group confided in the group who were sworn to secrecy. The rumours have resulted in discrimination against them. So UNDP was invited by the youth group one night to hear out their concerns/fears (of the youths) and to also discuss HIV/AIDS issues of course, the lack of development within the village generally and what they can do as youths.

In her paper, Virisila Raitamata describes the approach, activities and key lessons learnt: - HIV/AIDS is a cross cutting issue and CAN/SHOULD be mainstreamed/ integrated. - Communities if supported with the right type/level of support can do a lot for themselves. - International instruments such as UNGASS, MDGs, HDRs can and should be made relevant at community level, explain how the linkages from community to national can be made. - Communities learnt from each other-this activity snowballed from that of the first village in which we undertook the Community Development Planning exercise. - Youth/Women leadership became "movers & shakers" in the fight against HIV/AIDS and development generally. (September 19, 2004)


AIDSFOCUS.CH: ASSESSMENT OF HIV/AIDS TREATMENT AND CARE developed and distributed a questionnaire on comprehensive treatment and care to partners and other Swiss organisations. The purpose of the questionnaire is to make an assessment of the different activities in the field related to treatment and care of people affected by HIV/AIDS that are implemented or supported by Swiss organisations.

The purpose: a) Better knowledge: each organisation is to know better the HIV/AIDS-related activities in the field of other organisations. b) Identification of needs: each organisation will be able to better define its skills and at the same time identify its needs. c) Stimulate cooperation: better knowledge of other organisations' strengths and weaknesses should stimulate/facilitate future cooperation at field level.

The answers of this questionnaire will be collected by First results will be discussed at the Annual Assembly on October 22, 2004, and will be made available to all organisations linked to


The new book by Henning Mankell on Memory Work: I Die, but the Memory Lives on: the World Aids Crisis and the Memory Book Project (or, A Personal Reflection on Aids)

I Die, but the Memory Lives on is an angry book. Its author, the highly successful Swedish crime fiction writer Henning Mankell, would appear to have good reason to be angry. Mankell lives in Mozambique, where for many years he has been running the national theatre there. Mankell also campaigns for Aids awareness. In particular, he is involved with the Memory Books project, which tries to encourage parents with Aids to write something of themselves down, for when their children have grown up. I Die is a book about Mankell's experiences with Aids and Memory Books in Africa, where Aids has hit people the hardest. That is to say, it's killing them. Millions of people are dead or dying. (Published by The Harvill Press, London, 2004)



Bern | A focus is on the activities of the Working Group "Children affected by HIV/AIDS" and first screening of the new film on Memory Work. The issue of advocacy work as part of' mandate will be discussed (in German and French)

01.12.2004 | WORLD AIDS DAY

Around the globe | World AIDS Day celebrates progress made in the battle against the epidemic - and brings into focus remaining challenges. It is commemorated around the globe on 1 December.

World AIDS Day 2004 will focus on Women, Girls, HIV and AIDS - the theme for the World AIDS Campaign 2004. Through its focus on women and girls, the year-long campaign aims to accelerate the global response to HIV and AIDS - preventing new infections, promoting equal access to treatment and mitigating the impact of AIDS.


Berne | 6000 people in Africa die each day as a result of HIV/AIDS. Many could have a longer life expectancy if only they had access to medicines and food. The Bethlehem Mission Immensee, HEKS, and other development agencies would like to draw attention to this outrage by placing 6000 candles in front of the federal parliament in Berne on the World-AIDS-Day, 1st December 2004.

We demand - From the state: An annual contribution of 80 million dollars to the Global Fund to fight Aids, tuberculosis and malaria - From the pharmaceutical industry: Renunciation of patent rights in all developing countries - From the churches: Commitment to Aids prevention


Ausserholligen | What does it mean and how to do it? The SDC course on mainstreaming HIV/AIDS aims to provide information on and skills in mainstreaming HIV/AIDS. It aims to strengthen participants' motivation and competence to mainstream HIV/AIDS as relevant for their work. It addresses collaborators of SDC; programme officers at SDC (headquarters and Coofs) and in NGOs, consultants and interested professionals in the field of international cooperation who would like to start or improve mainstreaming HIV/AIDS in their work.

Content: - Presentation of the SDC toolkit "mainstreaming HIV/AIDS in practice" and how to use it - Introduction to the concept of mainstreaming: what does it mean (internal and external sphere), how to do it? - Linking the concept of mainstreaming to the working context of the participants - Sharing experiences of participants in the field of HIV/AIDS

January 20, 2005, in English April 14, 2005, in French is a project set up by Medicus Mundi Switzerland. is sponsored and shaped by 22 partner organizations who support the aims and activities of the platform through their financial contributions, expertise and commitment.

Partners: AIDS & Child, Bethlehem Mission Immensee, cinfo, CO-OPERAID, Déclaration de Berne, Doctors without Borders, Fondation Terre des hommes, Fédération Genevoise de Coopération, Gemeinschaft St. Anna-Schwestern, HEKS, IAMANEH Switzerland, medico international Switzerland, mediCuba-Suisse, REPSSI, SolidarMed, Swiss Aids Federation, Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund, Swiss MIVA, Swiss Red Cross, Swiss Tropical Institute, terre des hommes - Switzerland, World Vision Switzerland.