February 2015

Feb 27, 2015


Sexuality Education – the way to safer sex?

Dear aidsfocus reader

This Newsletter is dedicated to the issue of sexuality and HIV. Where sex is handled as a commodity or as a means to exert power, it does not make much sense to speak about condoms as if they were a cure. South Africa has one of the world’s highest incidences of rape, most of the sexual encounters is said to take place without the consent of the women. In addition, a large number of the people infected with HIV live in a marriage or in a consensual union. However, it is statistically proven that the widespread dissemination of the infection has its roots in extramarital affairs. Is there no way getting around the condom in order to prevent infection?

Up to 80% of new infections with the HI virus happen via sexual contacts – this is why preventive measures must also start in the field of „sexuality“. Particularly in a comprehensive way and by focusing on strengthening the dignity of women.

The UN had declared that the goal to be reached in the year 2010 was an universal access to HIV-prevention, treatment, care and support – but the goal was missed by far. Despite partial successes in the fight against Aids have been reached, there is still a long way to go to find an effective way to combat the epidemic. From that point of view, the most recent data mainly served as an input for reflection for the UN to see whether the present control strategy has effectively curtailed the HIV-epidemic.

Though, it is not possible to deny that risks having been reduced through using condoms, however, just by distributing condoms an effective HIV-infection prevention cannot be reached. High incidence rates as well as the increase of other sexually transmitted diseases show that people do not deal responsibly with sex matters.

Hence, Emery Mpwate, HIV/AIDS Regional Advisor of Mission 21 makes it clear: „As far as I am concerned the big problem we have is not HIV and Aids it is the bad management of our sexuality. I do believe that we will find a cure or vaccine against HIV but if the sexual behaviour will not change something else worse than HIV will come out“

Read his interesting article about sexuality education in the project areas of Mission 21!

Carine Weiss, MSc MIH


Project manager Medicus Mundi Schweiz

Topic of the Month

Comprehensive sexuality education: lessons learnt from our experience

“As far as I am concerned the big problem we have is not HIV and AIDS it is the bad management of our sexuality. I do believe that we will find a cure or vaccine against HIV but if the sexual behavior will not change something else worse than HIV will come out.” Emery Mpwate (HIV/AIDS Regional Advisor, Mission 21)


International news

World leaders are All In to end the AIDS epidemic among adolescents

Nairobi,17 February 2015 - While major advances have been made in almost every area of the response to HIV, progress for adolescents is falling behind, said leaders in the global response to end the AIDS epidemic.


WHO Strategy on HIV/AIDS for 2011-2015: "Let's do what's right for everyone"

World Health Organisation - Thirty years ago, the world has acted to fight against HIV/AIDS. Extraordinary action generated around the world has saved millions of lives and brought hope to millions more. In May 2011, the WHO has adopted a new HIV/AIDS Strategy for 2011-2015 to guide global health sector response to HIV/AIDS and enable universal access by 2015.


Sierra Leone commemorates International Condom Day 2015

UNFPA Sierra Leone, 12 February 2015 - February 14 marks not only Valentine's Day, but also International Condom Day, a holiday aimed at promoting the use of condoms to prevent unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections and the spread of HIV through safe sex practices.


Letter to TAC activists and supporters in South Africa and across the world

TAC, 6 February 2015 - "At the beginning of 2015 the role that the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) needs to play in South Africa’s fledgling democracy is clearer than ever. As in many spheres of our public service, the healthcare system is breaking down. (...)


Bill Gates predicts HIV vaccine by 2030

The guardian, 24 January 2015 - "Microsoft founder tells Davos that vaccine and new intense drug treatments could end most new cases of deadly virus.


Reports and Studies

Promoting and protecting the sexual and reproductive health and rights of adolescents and young people

World Health Organisation, January 2015 - "A WHO-led Special Supplement to the Journal of Adolescent Health, states that progress for adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights (ASRHR), has been ‘limited and patchy’. The Special Supplement is an analysis on progress made for ASRHR, by the global community, over the past twenty years since the landmark International Conference on Population and Development in 1994.


How to Talk to Your Partner About Using PrEP - "Talking about PrEP with your partner can open up a can of worms. Here's how to make the conversation as smooth as possible. Not so long ago, the only way to prevent HIV exposure was by using condoms. So the decision was pretty clear. If you didn’t want to be exposed to HIV, you used a condom. End of story.


Successful peer-recruited project shows it is possible to do prevention work with gay men in hostile environments, 15 January 2015 - Behavour change interventions are possible even among gay men in hostile environments as a study conducted in St Petersburg in Russia and Budapest in Hungary showed.


Study Finds H.I.V. Drugs Priced Out of Reach

New York Times, 28 January 2015 - A new study conducted by Harvard researchers and recently published in the New England Journal finds out that remedies to treat HIV/AIDS are priced out of reach for many patients who are enrolled in the America’s health insurance plans.


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.