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aidsfocus.ch e-Bulletin 26.09.2005

aidsfocus.ch e-Bulletin 26.09.2005
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Sep 27, 2005

ELECTORNIC BULLETIN OF THE SWISS PLATFORM ON HIV/AIDS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

THE ELECTRONIC BULLETIN OF THE SWISS PLATFORM FOR HIV/AIDS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION September 2005


Dear Reader

Parents play an important role in their children's education, and this responsibility extends to issues related to HIV and AIDS. However, calls to "Talk about HIV and AIDS in your family!" fall on deaf ears in southern Africa. In South Africa, remarked Sheila Sisolo in the course of a discussion on HIV and AIDS in Berne, it is the job of a maternal aunt or paternal uncle to tell children about such matters. It is taboo for parents to talk about sex or issues associated with HIV transmission and prevention with their children.

I pricked up my ears, realizing how naively those of us involved in development cooperation often apply western concepts wholesale to other societies. And then we wonder why prevention messages don't strike home.

But how should we deal with distinctive sociocultural phenomena and taboos so that we can work towards our shared universal goal or a future with no AIDS? I put this question to Annet Biryetega, coordinator of NACWOLA (Uganda), when she was in Berne for the aidsfocus.ch conference. "We are deliberately breaking this taboo and urging parents to talk to their children about sexuality and the risks of catching HIV and AIDS", was her reply. An increasing number of aunts and uncles are unable to assume their traditional responsibility due to changes in society which means they have no time, have moved away or have died. NACLOWA has therefore made the parents' educational role part of their Memory Box programme.

Cultural traditions are changing and can be changed. Cultural traditions can prevent change, but also facilitate it. The important thing to me is that we try to listen and understand, to encounter other people and their culture with respect and to work with local people to develop culturally appropriate strategies.

Helena Zweifel aidsfocus.ch


CONTENT

NEWS FROM THE SWISS COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE - AIDSFOCUS.CH: INFORMATION FROM THE STEERING COMMITTEE - NEW PARATNER OF AIDSFOCUS.CH: FEPA - NEW PARTNER OF AIDSFOCUS.CH: MISSION 21 - MSF : TRAITER LES ENFANTS VICTIMES DU SIDA - SCHWEIZER BEITRAG AN DEN GLOBALEN FONDS ZUR BEKÄMPFUNG VON AIDS, TUBERKULOSE UND MALARIA IST UNZUREICHEND

INTERNATIONAL DEBATES - STATEMENT BY HIV/AIDS THEME GROUP CHAIR ON THE CONDOM SHORTAGE IN UGANDA - THE LESS THEY KNOW, THE BETTER: ABSTINENCE-ONLY HIV/AIDS PROGRAMS IN UGANDA - DOES CNN WORK BETTER THAN 'ABC` IN ATTACKING THE AIDS EPIDEMIC? - ABSTINENCE ONLY VERSUS BROAD BASED SEXUAL HEALTH PROMOTION

NEW DOCUMENTS - BUILDING STRONGER HEALTH SYSTEMS KEY TO REACHING THE HEALTH MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS - PUTTING IT TOGETHER. AIDS AND THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS - DELIVERING ANTIRETROVIRAL THERAPY IN RESOURCE-CONSTRAINED SETTINGS - EXPANDING ACCESS TO HIV TREATMENT THROUGH COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATIONS - HIV, AIDS AND ISLAM - WHAT DO WE DO WITH CULTURE? ENGAGING CULTURE IN DEVELOPMENT - PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN

EVENTS 13.10.2005 | INFOAGRAR: POOR HEALTH, FOOD INSECURITY, AND POVERTY 24.11.2005 | AIDSFOCUS.CH: ANNUAL MEETING 01.12.2005 | STOP AIDS. KEEP THE PROMISE


NEWS FROM THE SWISS COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE


AIDSFOCUS.CH: INFORMATION FROM THE STEERING COMMITTEE

Meeting August 25, 2005: The Steering Committee (SC)drafted and discussed an aidsfocus.ch position paper on prevention and a position paper on comprehensive treatment and care, which will be discussed at the Annual Meeting on November 24, 2005. The Annual Meeting will focus on the sharing of experiences and information. The SC will meet for a Strategic Planning Workshop on September 27, 2005, in order to discuss and jointly define objectives, expected results and action of aidsfocus.ch for the years 2006-08. More information:

http://www.aidsfocus.ch


-------------- NEW PARTNER OF AIDSFOCUS.CH: FEPA

Der Fonds für Entwicklung und Partnerschaft in Afrika (FEPA) setzt sich seit über 40 Jahren für Afrika ein, indem er Selbsthilfeprojekte in Zimbabwe, Tansania und Südafrika unterstützt. Dabei arbeitet er mit lokalen Partnerorganisationen zusammen, deren Programme er ideell begleitet und denen er finanzielle und konzeptuelle Unterstützung gewährt.

http://www.aidsfocus.ch


-------------- NEW PARTNER OF AIDSFOCUS.CH: MISSION 21

mission 21 - evangelisches missionswerk basel - pflegt langjährige Beziehungen zu rund 80 Partnerkirchen und -organisationen in Afrika, Asien, Lateinamerika und Europa. mission 21 hat die verschiedenen HIV/Aids-Projekte der Partnerkirchen südlich der Sahara zu einem gemeinsamen Regionalprogramm HIV/AIDS zusammengefasst.

http://www.aidsfocus.ch


TRAITER LES ENFANTS VICTIMES DU SIDA
  1. 07.2005 - Médecins Sans Frontières traite avec succès un nombre croissant d'enfants porteurs du VIH/SIDA, selon les données recueillies dans les programmes de traitement mis en place par MSF.

[backPid]=5&cHash;=0084a7cd53" target="_new">http://www.msf.ch


-------------- SCHWEIZER BEITRAG AN DEN GLOBALEN FONDS ZUR BEKÄMPFUNG VON AIDS, TUBERKULOSE UND MALARIA IST UNZUREICHEND
  1. 9.2005 - Communiqué von Bethlehem Mission Immensee und HEKS an die Medien: "Die Welt muss über HIV/Aids, Tuberkulose und Malaria siegen. Jedes Land soll seinen fairen Beitrag leisten."

http://www.bethlehem-mission.ch


INTERNATIONAL DEBATES


STATEMENT BY HIV/AIDS THEME GROUP CHAIR ON THE CONDOM SHORTAGE IN UGANDA

Kampala, 2 September 2005 - "The UN system in Uganda supports the Uganda government policy on prevention of HIV/AIDS including the use of the triple strategy of Abstinence; Faithfulness; and correct and consistent Condom usage (the so-called ABC strategy). The UN system position is that condoms are one of the effective prevention tools in reducing HIV infection rates in Uganda. The UN Theme Group on HIV/AIDS in Uganda has worked closely with other development partners in the last few months to ensure that Uganda's long standing policy of condom promotion is supported."

http://www.unaids.org


THE LESS THEY KNOW, THE BETTER: ABSTINENCE-ONLY HIV/AIDS PROGRAMS IN UGANDA
  1. S.-funded "abstinence-only" programs are jeopardizing Uganda's successful fight against HIV/AIDS, Human Rights Watch said in the report "The Less They Know, the Better: Abstinence-Only HIV/AIDS Programs in Uganda". Abstinence-only programs deny young people information about any method of HIV prevention other than sexual abstinence until marriage. The 80-page report documents the recent removal of critical HIV/AIDS information from primary school curricula, including information about condoms, safer sex and the risks of HIV in marriage. Abstinence programs have been used since 1981 in the United States, where they have proven in numerous independent studies to be ineffective and potentially harmful. (March 2005)

http://hrw.org


DOES CNN WORK BETTER THAN 'ABC` IN ATTACKING THE AIDS EPIDEMIC?

Empowering individuals to make informed choices will be the only successful HIV prevention model. This viewpoint from International Family Planning Perspectives argues that current HIV prevention models, while having had some success, do not address all risk factors. In particular, the author outlines risk factors for married women, condom stigma and the complexities of needle exchange programmes, and argues that these are not adequately addressed in the ABC (Abstinence, Be Faithful, Condoms) HIV prevention model. He then examines how the abstinence only views of the U.S. government and the Vatican, grounded in ideology rather than on scientific evidence, have imposed dangerous limitations on the success of HIV prevention programmes. (International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), 2005)

http://www.agi-usa.org


ABSTINENCE ONLY VERSUS BROAD BASED SEXUAL HEALTH PROMOTION

Eldis quick guide through the key issues: Which approach is more effective in preventing HIV infection among young people and reducing teenage pregnancy: abstinence only or broad-based sexual health promotion? This Eldis guide looks at the arguments for and against both approaches, providing a review of the evidence base and summaries of research on the key issues with links to further sources.

http://www.eldis.org


NEW DOCUMENTS


HEALTH AND THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS
  1. August 2005 - Geneva: The World Health Organization (WHO) said in the new report "Health and the Millennium Development Goals", that unless urgent investments are made in health systems, current rates of progress will not be sufficient to meet most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The report points to weak and inequitable health systems as a key obstacle, including particularly a crisis in health personnel and the urgent need for sustainable health financing.

http://www.who.int


PUTTING IT TOGETHER. AIDS AND THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS

Progress towards achieving the MDGs has been mixed. The new IAVI paper argues that HIV/AIDS is a major threat to development. The pandemic holds back countries' fundamental development performance and exerts detrimental effects on just about all of the MDGs: HIV/AIDS increases poverty, worsens the nutritional status of children, AIDS compromises efforts to reach universal primary education, AIDS has a negative impact on child mortality and HIV/AIDS undermines global efforts to control tuberculosis. AIDS, the paper contends, makes it difficult if not impossible for many countries to achieve their MDG targets. (IAVI, September 2005)

http://www.iavi.org


DELIVERING ANTIRETROVIRAL THERAPY IN RESOURCE-CONSTRAINED SETTINGS

Lessons from Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda. In 2003, Family Health International (FHI) and its donor and country partners launched antiretroviral therapy (ART) "learning sites" in Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda, hoping to demonstrate that ART services could be provided safely and effectively in resource-constrained settings. At each site, ART was introduced as an integral component of comprehensive care and support for HIV-infected patients and their families. This publication presents many of the lessons learnt, along with strategies, challenges and key recommendations. (Family Health Internation, August 2005)

http://www.fhi.org


EXPANDING ACCESS TO HIV TREATMENT THROUGH COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATIONS

The UNAIDS Best Practice collection provides strategic information on some of the needs, challenges and opportunities that are specific to community-based organizations in scaling up access to care and treatment; it demonstrates the current and potential value of their work and suggests ways forward to assess, support, and enlarge the scope and impact of that work. (Sidaction, UNAIDS and WHO, July 2005)

http://www.unaids.org


HIV, AIDS AND ISLAM

Reflections based on compassion, responsibility & justice - This document, produced by Positive Muslims, outlines how Muslims should understand and respond to HIV and AIDS. It is aimed at teachers in religious educational institutions, leaders of local community organisations, workers in organisations that work with Muslims on HIV and AIDS, and organisations that work with women and young people. The document examines dominant Muslim responses to HIV and AIDS, outlines how Muslims can responsibly take charge of their lives, and addresses the broader issues of HIV, AIDS and justice. (Positive Muslims 2005)

http://www.coreinitiative.org


WHAT DO WE DO WITH CULTURE? ENGAGING CULTURE IN DEVELOPMENT

This bulletin from Health Exchange explores the role that culture plays in development and highlights its fundamental role in developing HIV communications strategies. R. Vincent argues that by engaging in cultural processes at all levels, development practitioners can encourage local initiative and better understand social change. The bulletin then outlines how it is vital to address cultural processes in development policy, planning and practice. Moreover, power relationships need to be seen as central to cultural practices and beliefs. HIV and AIDS communication has highlighted the links between communication on the personal level and social change. (Exchange Findings 3, March 2005)

http://www.eldis.org


PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN

The latest issue of the Horizons Report describes findings from operations research in Zimbabwe and Rwanda that examines the psychosocial well-being of AIDS-affected children and ways to increase their ability to adapt and cope in the face of adversity. In this issue: Providing Psychosocial Support to AIDS-affected Children, Utilizing the Research, Strengthening youth-headed households in Rwanda and Ethical Issues in Program Design and Research. (June 2005)

http://www.popcouncil.org


EVENTS


13.10.2005 | INFOAGRAR: POOR HEALTH, FOOD INSECURITY, AND POVERTY - HOW TO BREAK THE VICIOUS CIRCLE?

Berne | The Symposium on the Occasion of World Food Day puts emphasis on the interface between poor health and food insecurity in developing countries. How do health conditions among rural populations influence agricultural production, and vice versa? How can agricultural production systems best be adapted to the specific problems in a population strongly affected by HIV/AIDS? These are some of the questions to be discussed at the symposium. Organisation: infoAgrar

http://www.infoagrar.ch


24.11.2005 | AIDSFOCUS.CH ANNUAL MEETING

Bern | The Annual Meeting will focus on the sharing of experiences and information. After the statuary part, the new film "Vivre avec le sida" by IAMANEH will be screened, highlighting the complexity, contradictions and inconsistencies of the issue. A set of roundtables or "market stalls" on various topics will be set up. Topics proposed: mainstreaming, confusion of concepts (ABC, CNN, SAVED, etc.), (inter)cultural approaches, migrants, advocacy, contradictions.

http://www.aidsfocus.ch


01.12.2005 | STOP AIDS. KEEP THE PROMISE

worldwide | The World AIDS Campaign 2005 advocates for the fulfilment of the UN Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and subsequent policy commitments on AIDS under the theme "Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise." The Campaign aims to hold the world community accountable to the commitments they make, while at the same time highlighting the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS as an important tool for ensuring a comprehensive response to the epidemic.

http://www.unaids.org


www.aidsfocus.ch

aidsfocus.ch is a project set up by Medicus Mundi Switzerland. aidsfocus.ch is sponsored and shaped by 28 partner organizations who support the aims and activities of the platform through their financial contributions, expertise and commitment.

Partners: Aids & Child, Bethlehem Mission Immensee, Caritas Switzerland, cinfo, Community St. Anna-Sisters, CO-OPERAID, Déclaration de Berne, Doctors without Borders, FEPA, Fédération Genevoise de Coopération, HEKS, IAMANEH Switzerland, medico international Switzerland, mediCuba-Suisse, missio, mission 21, REPSSI, SolidarMed, Swiss Aids Care International, Swiss Aids Federation, Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund, Swiss MIVA, Swiss Red Cross, Swiss Tropical Institute, Tear Fund, Terre des hommes Foundation, terre des hommes - Switzerland, World Vision Switzerland.