Why are HIV prevention efforts failing key populations?

The International HIV/AIDS Alliance is calling for human rights and greater access to health programmes for communities at the highest risk to be central to the new international HIV & AIDS agreement being finalized by the UN prior to the High Level Meeting which takes place next week.

You can add your voice to this call by sending a message to key attendees of the meeting.

In advance of the UN High Level Meeting on AIDS this month (8-10 June) the Alliance’s ‘What’s Preventing Prevention?’ campaign has released a briefing which provides and analysis of how national AIDS responses are failing in their prevention efforts for people who are at higher risk of HIV (key populations).
Read more about why HIV prevention efforts are failing key populations

UN High Level Meeting on AIDS

This week a side event will take place to highlight why HIV prevention must target those at higher risk of HIV (key populations).

The event, titled ‘A Dialogue on HIV and Human Rights: Universal Access for Key Affected Populations’ has been organised by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance and International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and is hosted by the UK and South African governments.

Resources Thank you! Your action helped to freeze the 55% rule

Resources Thank you! Your action helped to freeze the 55% rule

This action is now closed. The Global Fund Board decided on 11 May to freeze its 55% rule!

The rule stated that 55% of the funding commitments of the Global Fund in any given year should be allocated to low-income countries. This severely limited the ability of the Global Fund to invest in comprehensive responses with drug users and other key populations in countries classified as middle income countries.

On 7 May the International HIV/AIDS Alliance published a report on the impact of the ‘55% rule’ on harm reduction programmes for people who use drugs. Most of these programmes take place in middle income countries.

Read the report ‘Don’t Stop Now: HIV, drug use and the Global Fund!’

Call for a UK blueprint for an HIV-free generation

In line with the UK’s strong leadership on accountability, human rights, and results, the UK government must leverage its leadership on HIV.

How? By developing a detailed blueprint to map out its role in a global HIV response which invests enough funds in the right programmes for the right people.

As World AIDS Day 2012 approaches, we should find ourselves at a tipping point. We finally have enough information and tools to get the pandemic under control and achieve a world with no new infections, no AIDS-related deaths and where HIV-positive people are healthy and realise their rights.

But the road ahead will not be easy. Global economic recession, shifting donor priorities and the changing nature and location of the HIV pandemic means the UK government must continue to invest and continue to invest in what works.

That’s why we want UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening to take the opportunity this World AIDS Day to announce how they intend to continue the UK government’s essential leadership role to help break the back of the epidemic – once and for all.
Click here to email David Cameron and Justine Greening to ask for a UK Blueprint for an HIV-free generation .

The UK blueprint should:

– Commit to leading the way globally.
– Commit to maintain the current proportion of UK international aid going to HIV.
– Commit to focus on all people affected by HIV, regardless of where they live.
Find out more

For World AIDS Day 2012, we will be launching a new report Don’t Stop Now! Calling for a UK Blueprint to achieve an HIV-free generation which will shine a light on the essential role the UK government has played in funding the HIV response over the last 30 years, and proposes a future role they should play in realising the end of the HIV pandemic.

This action is led by the Stop AIDS Campaign – a coalition of over 60 UK NGOs and trade unions working together to demand universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support – of which the Alliance is a member.

Background information: Commonwealth Ministers of Foreign Affairs Meeting

The Alliance fears that the Commonwealth has brushed human rights and health issues under the carpet in advance of the Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers meeting in New York on 29 September 2012.

This is very disappointing, as previously it seemed that the Commonwealth was making great strides towards improving the human rights and health of people living in Commonwealth countries, and proving its relevance.

In 2009 an Eminent Persons Group (EPG) of respected experts was established to examine the Commonwealth’s future and relevance. At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) the EPG presented their recommendations. As a result of intense advocacy, including by the Alliance’s ‘What’s Preventing Prevention?’ campaign, most of their recommendations on HIV were adopted.

However, other key recommendations were deferred. These recommendations could have a huge impact on the lives of people in Commonwealth countries, particularly key populations at higher risk of HIV, such as sex workers, people who use drugs and LGBT people, for whom criminalising laws are a major barrier to accessing HIV prevention, treatment and support.

Key recommendations were:

– For the Commonwealth to “take steps to encourage the repeal of laws that may impede the effective response of Commonwealth countries to the HIV/AIDS epidemic”.

– The creation of a Commonwealth Commissioner for Democracy, the Rule of Law and Human Rights.

– The development of a new Commonwealth Charter, which should underpin core human rights principles and the commitment of the Commonwealth to fight HIV and other major health challenges.

These recommendations were passed to a Ministerial Task Force to develop further and present at the Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Meeting. Rather than accepting the above recommendations, the Alliance understands that the Task Force has requested further guidance from the Ministers at the September meeting on how to pursue them – potentially opening the issues up to further delay, and possible dismissal.
A lack of transparency and commitment

We’d hoped that the discussions by the Ministerial Task Force would exemplify the core Commonwealth principles of transparency, accountability and civil society participation. That has not happened. Discussions on the new charter, which should have involved every Commonwealth country, only happened in the UK, Canada and Australia to our knowledge.

And now everything seems to be done and dusted. The draft Charter which representatives of the task force have agreed to present contains no mention of freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Nor does it include the creation of a Commonwealth Democracy and Human Rights Commissioner or refer to HIV and other public health threats.

The task force has also subscribed to the Commonwealth Secretariat’s approach to its Strategic Plan 2013-2016, described in the Secretariat’s First Discussion Paper. The paper proposes health to be an “area of diminished focus”. This is in spite of health being prioritised profusely in the CHOGM Perth Communiqué, including a commitment to universal health care. Was this all just empty rhetoric?

The task force is also going to request further guidance from the Ministers at the September meeting on how to pursue the recommendation to take steps to repeal discriminatory legislation undermining the HIV response – potentially opening the issues up for further debate, and possible dismissal.
Don’t miss this opportunity !

There is still time for the Commonwealth the do something to address the key human rights and health challenges it’s citizens are facing. Ignoring the recommendations that the Commonwealth leaders themselves have made will simply add to the ever growing questions among Commonwealth citizens about the impact and added value of the institution.

The ‘What’s Preventing Prevention?’ campaign has launched an action for the Commonwealth ministers of foreign affairs, who meet on 29 September, to approve the recommendation to “take steps to encourage the repeal of laws that may impede the effective response of Commonwealth countries to the HIV/AIDS epidemic”. Take action here


Soy una mujer trans de América Latina

Igual a ti, tengo sueños, deseos, responsabilidades y derechos.

Pero en mi país no se reconoce el derecho a mi identidad de género, y esto me excluye de la educación, el trabajo, la justicia, la vivienda, la política, la salud… de una ciudadanía plena con todos los derechos.

También tengo miedo. Cada año, se reporta el asesinato de más de 200 personas trans en América Latina. Más del 80% de los casos reportados en el mundo.

La inmensa mayoría de estas muertes quedan impunes.

Me aterra que el mismo Estado controle mi vida con detenciones arbitrarias, torturas y extorsiones y permita asesinatos y violencia transfóbica.

Sin derechos, sin mi identidad reconocida, soy más vulnerable al VIH y a la pobreza.

La Red Latinoamericana y del Caribe de Personas Trans (Redlactrans) y la International HIV/AIDS Alliance han lanzado la campana ‘Igual a Ti’.

©Enrique Restoy and Monica LeonardoNuestra campaña demanda que nuestras autoridades aprueben una ley de identidad de género que nos garantice el derecho a ser lo que una o uno es.

Somos igual a ti.

– Si quieres unir personalmente tu voz a la campaña aquí puedes firmar nuestra petición a los gobiernos de América Latina.

– Si tu organización o institución quiere apoyar la campana institucionalmente, envíanos un correo a [email protected]

– Click here to read this page in English

I am a transgender person. I am just like you!

I am a transgender woman living in Latin America.

©Enrique Restoy and Monica LeonardoJust like you, I have dreams and wishes, responsibilities and rights.

But we differ in one way, my country does not recognise my gender identity. As a result I am excluded from enjoying education, health, work and my full rights as a citizen.

I experience fear. According to reports, every year, over 200 transgender people are killed in Latin America. This is over 80% of the world’s reported cases.

Hardly any of these murders get investigated.

I am afraid because the State itself controls my life through illegal detention, torture and extortion and by allowing transphobic violence to go unpunished.

My rights and my gender identity are not recognised and because of this I am more vulnerable to HIV and poverty.

The Latin American and Caribbean Network of Transgender People (Redlactrans) and the Alliance have launched the ‘Just Like You’ campaign.

The campaign urges our national governments to pass gender identity laws to guarantee right of every citizen to be who they are. Argentina has already passed this law – the first in the region.

Because we are just like you!

– If you want to take action as an individual, please use the form below to email governments in Latin America and the Caribbean.

– If you represent an organisation or institution and wish to endorse the ‘Just Like You’ campaign, please send an email to [email protected]

– Pulse aquí para la acción en español

Show your support for the Robin Hood Tax

The ‘What’s Preventing Prevention?’ campaign supports the Robin Hood Tax, also known as the Financial Transactions Tax.

The aim of the tax is to generate billions of pounds to fight poverty in the UK and overseas. A tiny tax of just 0.05% on financial transactions could generate £20 billion annually in the UK alone.

What could the Robin Hood Tax do for HIV and health?

There are many ways the Robin Hood Tax could be used to invest in health – here’s just two:

– 4.5 million people living with HIV can’t access the treatment they desperately need. The Robin Hood Tax could help deliver life saving anti-retroviral drugs to these people.

– TB is a curable disease. Yet 1.8 million people died from TB in 2008. Small change from the banks can provide the cure.

Find out more about how the tax could help the international HIV response.

Watch our video on the difference the Robin Hood Tax could make to accessing antiretroviral drugs in Uganda: