e-Bulletin e-Bulletin 22.08.2008 e-Bulletin 22.08.2008

Aug 22, 2008




Dear Partners of Ladies and Gentlemen

Which are the most important recent issues on HIV and AIDS that should take up? This is a question I keep asking AIDS activists and people in development cooperation. The answer of Farai Mahaso, coordinator of the AIDS support organisation Batanai in Zimbabwe, is quite clear: To train and engage health workers and lay-persons for the care of HIV-patients that have started antiretroviral treatment. Universal access to free or at least affordable medicines still is an important demand. But when there are no doctors or nurses to take care of the patients or they have not enough time for the right treatment of the many patients, quality of treatment may suffer or the treatment may be interrupted. takes up this issue at the forum “HIV-treatment for all – a realistic project” on 30 September 2008 in Berne. The evaluation of the intergrated and comprehensive HIV-treatment and care programme of the Swiss Red Cross in Swaziland is the starting point. Health Care Workers and Care Facilitators in the community and “Follow Up Assistants” who supported patients during therapy played an important role in the success of the programme.

One primary strategy used by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and others is “task shifting”, combined with other measures to deliver care. Task shifting refers to a change in task allocation between different types of professional health workers (mostly lower cadres), or from professional to lay workers. MSF regularly and effectively utilizes task shifting in its ART programs where physicians or other medical staff are in short supply.

This is important, for today, only one third of the 9 million people living with HIV and AIDS and who need ARV-treatment are actually receiving it. What are the main factors contributing to successful treatment programmes? What are challenges still to overcome in scaling up comprehensive HIV prevention, treatment and care in order that universal access to HIV-treatment becomes a reality?

We cordially invite you to participate in the forum of and to join in the discussion on challenges, approaches and strategies regarding comprehensive HIV prevention, treatment and care.

We are looking forward to meeting you in Berne,

Helena Zweifel Coordinator of


Bern | Forum on successes and challenges of HIV treatment in resource-limited settings.

Successful therapies have shown that if existing resources are invested in a good and wise manner a lot can be achieved in resource-poor countries of the South as well. The evaluation of the achievements of the intergrated HIV and AIDS-treatment and care programme of the Swiss Red Cross in Swaziland is the starting point for discussion. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has demonstrated successful HIV-therapies in 32 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. A recent study by the Berne University even comes to the conclusion that ARV-treatment in slums of South Africa is as effective as it is in Switzerland.

What are the factors contributing to successful treatment of people living with HIV and AIDS in resource-limited settings in Africa, Asia and Latin America? What are the minimal medical requirements for ARV-therapies? What kind of support is needed to ensure life-long adherence to medication? How can the growing number of children living with HIV be treated? How do we deal with the reluctance of being tested for HIV, with stigma and taboo?

The forum organised by in cooperation with the Swiss Red Cross takes up these burning issues and based on concrete evidence opens up the discussion on chal-lenges, approaches and strategies regarding comprehensive HIV prevention, treatment and care.

Invited to the forum are all partners of, representatives of development and aid agencies dealing with issues of HIV and AIDS and poverty alleviation as well as all people interested in these issues.

------- Programme: Treatment for all – a realistic project

Welcome by Helena Zweifel, Coordinator

“Together we can”. Best practices of the AIDS Programme in Swaziland (Swiss and Swaziland Red Cross Society): Film

Lilly Pulver, Programme Coordinator / Esther Oester, Head of Operations, Swiss Red Cross Meeting people in need. Achievements and lessons learnt from an integrated HIV and AIDS partnership programme, Swaziland

Johnny Lujan, HIV/AIDS Referent Medical Department, MD, Médecins sans Frontières Experiences in Swaziland and Mozambique, lessons learnt and future chal-lenges of ART treatment

Olivia Keiser, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM), University of Bern Public health and individual approach to antiretroviral therapy: Township South Africa and Switzerland compared


Date and time: 30 September 2008, 2.15 – 4.45 p.m., Bern Venue: kornhausforum, Kornhausplatz 18, 3011 Bern, Forum language: English Admission fee: partners of CHF 25.-, others: CHF 50.- Coordination: Helena Zweifel, / Medicus Mundi Switzerland is a project set up by Medicus Mundi Switzerland. is sponsored and shaped by 31 partner organizations who support the aims and activities of the platform through their financial contributions, expertise and commitment.

Partners: Afro-European Medical and Research Network (AEMRN), AIDS & Child, Bethlehem Mission Immensee, Caritas Switzerland, cinfo, CO-OPERAID, Berne Declaration, Doctors without Borders, Esperanza Medicines Foundation, FEPA, Fédération Genevoise de Coopération, Gemeinschaft St. Anna-Schwestern, HEKS, IAMANEH Switzerland, International Federation of the Blue Cross, INTERTEAM, Kindernothilfe Schweiz, medico international Switzerland, mediCuba-Suisse, mission, REPSSI, SolidarMed, Swiss Aids Care International, Swiss Aids Federation, missio, mission 21, Swiss Aids Care International, Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund, Swiss MIVA, Swiss Red Cross, Swiss Tropical Institute, Tear Fund, Terre des hommes Foundation, terre des hommes schweiz, and World Vision Switzerland.