January 2015

Jan 30, 2015


35th Meeting of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board

Dear aidsfocus Reader

On the 25 September 2014 Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter explained in front of the UN General Assembly that there is a chance to reach the ambitious goal to end the Aids epidemic by 2030. This ambitious goal is only achievable with our commitment, our intensity and quality of work we are doing.

Actions have been taken: Switzerland will be active in the board of UNAIDS. Switzerland, represented through the SDC, is an active member of the UNAIDS board and act currently as the chair of the member states Sweden – Austria - Island and Switzerland. On the last board meeting Switzerland was nominated as the vice chair of the board for 2015 and will automatically become a candidate for the chair of the board for 2016. They thus take a key role in the UNAIDS board for the next two years! Please read the interesting report on the decisions taken on the 35th UNAIDS Board Meeting in December 2014 written by Susanne Amsler, health advisor at the SDC.

There is global consensus that all necessary tools now exist to reach the ambitious goal to end the AIDS epidemic after almost 3 decades. HIV will probably not disappear from the surface in the near future, however it is possible to stop the Aids epidemic as a global health threat.

Ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 can only be achieved if no one is left behind and all vulnerable groups are targeted such as sex workers, migrants, prisoners and people injecting drugs. UNAIDS encourages Member States to advocate for a transformative, inclusive and ambitious post-2015 development agenda rooted in the respect, promotion and protection of all human rights for all people.

The aidsfocus conference will be devoted to exactly this topic: HIV/Aids and vulnerable groups – No one left behind. The conference will take place on 7 May 2015 in Bern. For further information please visit our website. We look forward receiving you!

Carine Weiss, MSc MIH


Project leader Medicus Mundi Switzerland

Topic of the Month

35th Meeting of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board

During the last 35th UNAIDS Board, taking place December 9-11 in Geneva, a series of important issues were discussed and adopted, such as the time frame of the present UNAIDS Strategy, measures to be taken to improve access to antiretroviral drugs (incl. the full use of the flexibilities under the TRIPS agreement) or the treatment, care and support of HIV-positive children.


Feature Story

Feature Story: HIV and sex workers

In the light of the upcoming conference on 7 May 2015 in Bern on HIV/Aids in vulnerable groups I would like to draw the attention on the Lancet series on HIV and sex workers published in July 2014. Achieving an AIDS-free generation will not be possible unless the human rights of sex workers are recognized.


Information from the swiss community of practice

Home-Based Versus Mobile Clinic HIV Testing and Counseling in Rural Lesotho: A Cluster-Randomized Trial

SolidarMed / PLOS Medicine - The Swiss based organisation SolidarMed has published a study on PLOS Medicine on HIV testing and counseling in rural Lesotho.


International news

UNAIDS Executive Director delivers his World AIDS Day 2014 message

On this World AIDS Day 2014, let us also reflect on the lives lost to Ebola, on the countries and people affected by the outbreak in West Africa.


The global state of AIDS: The good, the goodish and the not-so good

Humanosphere, 1 December 2014 - In this article published on World AIDS Day 2014 the author Tom Murphy gives an update of the global state of AIDS by reviewing three notable reports:


The final push for HIV in new global development agenda

Key Correspondents network, 15 January 2015 - "With the mega-issues of poverty, hunger, health, education and global warming challenging the global community, HIV activists often struggle to be heard. But 2015, is not the year to take a back seat.


Ukrainian drug addicts dying due to treatment ban, says UN

The guardian, 21 January 2015 - "United Nations envoy says those on substitution therapy in annexed Crimea could face death after Russia made it illegal. As many as 100 drug users in Crimea may have died since the peninsula was annexed by Russia, according to a top UN official, due to fact that the “substitution therapy” they were receiving from Ukrainian authorities being illegal under Russian law.


Reports and Studies

Access Denied - Parliamentarians sound warning on future of AIDS response

UK, December 2014 - Universal access to the medicines essential to an effective AIDS response is still far from being achieved in the developing world and under increasing threat in a number of critical areas, a cross-party group of MPs and Lords reported recently.


HIV—unfinished business in the Post-2015 Agenda

GNP+, New York, 22 January 2015 - "As the first of the official intergovernmental negotiations for the post-2015 development agenda conclude this week at the United Nations in New York, the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) and the International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) urge world leaders to ensure that HIV-related targets remain central in the new sustainable development agenda.


Funding AIDS programmes in the era of shared responsibility: an analysis of domestic spending in 12 low-income and middle-income countries

The Lancet Global Health - "As the incomes of many AIDS-burdened countries grow and donors' budgets for helping to fight the disease tighten, national governments and external funding partners increasingly face the following question: what is the capacity of countries that are highly affected by AIDS to finance their responses from domestic sources, and how might this affect the level of donor support?"


Condom rebrand vital to curb new HIV infections among Malawi’s youth

International HIV/AIDS Alliance - "Condoms have become increasingly unpopular among young people in Malawi, contributing to high HIV transmission rates. According to the Malawi National AIDS Commission, 310,000 of the one million people living with HIV in Malawi are aged under 24."


Events Conference 2015

Bern, 7 May 2015 | - This year’s annual aidsfocus conference will focus on vulnerable groups such as Sex workers, injecting drug users; migrants or prisoners.

read more... is a platform set up by the Network Medicus Mundi Switzerland. is sponsored and shaped by its 22 partner organizations who support the aims and activities of the platform through their financial contributions, expertise and commitment. It is financially supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Partner organisations: AIDS & Child, CO-OPERAID, FEPA, Fédération Genevoise de Coopération, Gemeinschaft St. Anna-Schwestern, IAMANEH Switzerland, Kindernothilfe Schweiz, Kwa Wazee, mediCuba-Suisse, mission21, SolidarMed, Swiss Aids Care International, Swiss Aids Federation, Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund, Swiss Catholic Women’s League, Swiss MIVA, Swiss Red Cross, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (SwissTPH), Tear Fund, Terre des hommes Foundation, terre des hommes schweiz, and World Vision Switzerland.