aidsfocus news

aidsfocus news
May 2017

May 24, 2017


Where is the Will?

Dear aidsfocus readers,

The MMS/ Conference was a great success! We heard excellent presentations from highly competent speakers who delivered vivid accounts of the current HIV/AIDS situation. And it is not a pretty picture!

The UNAIDS promoted 90-90-90 strategy for testing and treatment represents an ambitious goal when we consider that today an estimated 37 million people are HIV-positive and only around half of them have access to medication. This is partly because people simply do not know of their HIV status but also because access to treatment is still only partially or even not at all available in many countries. In this we are facing a dual challenge: only an individual's knowledge of their own HIV status can lead to suitable treatment and access to this treatment must be ensured.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates the number of undetected HIV infections to be at least 14 million – this is a catastrophe! According to UNAIDS, by 2020 90% of HIV infections worldwide should be diagnosed; 90% of those diagnosed with HIV should be receiving antiretroviral treatment and in 90% of the treated cases the therapy should be regulated to ensure that the HI-virus is no longer detectable. If all this is accomplished, then the goal to end the epidemic by 2030 can be achieved.

Fear of stigmatisation and discrimination often deter the decision to be HIV-tested, both in Switzerland and in southern Africa.

A continuation of “business as usual” is not good enough!

It is now clear: if international and national efforts are not stepped up, the 90-90-90 goals will not be achieved by 2020, neither in Switzerland nor in southern Africa. The national political will and the determination to defeat AIDS is now more urgently needed than ever!

The live recordings of the conference presentations can be found on our MMS Facebook page, and at the documentation of the conference.

Our “topic of the month” is also dedicated to the 90-90-90 targets – you can read more about it here.

Carine Weiss


Project Leader, Medicus Mundi Switzerland

Topic of the month

Let’s talk about the 90-90-90 targets set for 2020 – are they still within reach?

MMS/ - Get Tested! Know your HIV Status! Frequently heard slogans connected to the “90-90-90” targets introduced by UNAIDS in 2014. These targets intend that, by 2020, 90% of people who are infected with HIV will be diagnosed, 90% of people who are diagnosed will receive antiretroviral treatment and the virus in 90% of those receiving this treatment will be suppressed. If we meet these targets, the goal of achieving the end of AIDS by 2030 is still within reach.


Information from the Swiss community of practice

Governance in the focus

MMS/ at the Global Fund Board Meeting, Kigali, 3 – 4 May 2017 - At the beginning of May the board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) met in Kigali. Martin Leschhorn Strebel, civil society representative in the Swiss delegation reports.


DOCUMENTATION MMS/ conference 10 May 2017


High Prevalence and Incidence of Hypertension among Africans Living with HIV

Swiss TPH - About 12% of people living with HIV in rural Tanzania have hypertension at the moment of HIV diagnosis. An additional 10% will develop hypertension during the first months of antiretroviral therapy. This represents an incidence 1.5 times higher than that found in Europe or the United States. The findings, published today in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, come from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) in collaboration with partner institutions in Tanzania, Switzerland and Spain. (by Sabina Beatrice-Matter)


International news

Invest in Health

The Global Fund - "At a time of accelerating change, when the news cycle feels more like a cyclone, a historic meeting this weekend could be overlooked. It shouldn’t be. The health ministers of G20 countries are gathering for the first time – a clear indication of the role of health in global development agenda. (Blog by Marijke Wijnroks who will become Interim Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on 1 June. )


#WeAreREADY at the World Health Assembly - "The Alliance is profiling READY, a portfolio of projects focusing on adolescents living with and most affected by HIV, at the 70th World Health Assembly in Geneva from 22 to 31 May.


HIV life expectancy 'near normal' thanks to new drugs

BBC News - "Young people on the latest HIV drugs now have near-normal life expectancy because of improvements in treatments, a study in The Lancet suggests.


UNAIDS Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee calls for HIV testing revolution

UNAIDS - The participants of a meeting of the UNAIDS Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) have called on UNAIDS to lead global efforts to galvanize an HIV testing revolution. The target is to achieve 90% of people living with HIV knowing their HIV status by 2020. In 2015, only 60% of people living with HIV knew their HIV status.


White House Proposes Large Cuts to NIH Research This Year

Bloomberg Politics - "President Donald Trump’s administration has proposed cutting $1.23 billion this fiscal year from research funded by the National Institutes of Health, according to a White House document sent to congressional appropriators.


Reports and Studies

Good Practice Guide: Adolescent HIV Programming - "This guide is one of a series of good practice guides, and contains information, strategies and resources to help HIV programmers implement HIV programming for adolescents.


The living legacy of the Global Plan

UNAIDS - "The Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS) has released a special supplement on the incredible journey of the Global plan towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children by 2015 and keeping their mothers alive (Global Plan), which documents the history of the Global Plan and outlines what the future holds as efforts to end AIDS among women, children and adolescents accelerate.


When women lead, change happens.

UNAIDS - Indignation. Hope. These two words immediately come to my mind every time I address the issue of girls, women and HIV. Indignation that girls and women are still bearing the brunt of the AIDS epidemic. Women living with HIV face stigma and discrimination at the hands of family members, in communities, at the workplace and in health-care settings.


Investing in Community Responses

The Global Fund Advocates Network - "Greater investment in community responses is needed to end AIDS. UNAIDS suggests that investments in community mobilization should increase threefold to 3%, and spending on social enablers should reach 8% of total expenditure by 2020. However, a recent survey showed that 40% of organizations tasked with implementing community activities reported a funding decrease since 2013.


Engaging Communities is Critical in Every Step of Global Fund Processes

The Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF) - "Published by MSMGF this new review synthesizes good practices and proposes a series of strategic actions for the Global Fund in efforts to expand and enhance meaningful community engagement in all phases of its grants.



Mental Health - How to support staff affected by a trauma?

MMS Round Table, 6 June 2017 - The effect of traumas on the workforce in developing countries is far more serious than many people realize. A trauma can result from a war experience, natural disasters or from political tensions. Trauma impacts every aspect of a person’s effectiveness in the workplace. Traumatized workers are compromised in their ability to learn, think, manage change, and relate to others. They are more likely to have mental and physical health problems, including depression and substance abuse.


Education à la santé : besoin de renouveau ?

MMS Table Ronde, 8 Juin 2017 - Cette table ronde sera l’occasion d’échanger des réflexions sur l’éducation à la santé avec des experts tant en santé qu’en éducation. Cet espace de parole permettra aux intervenants de discuter de la nécessité d’innover les approches pédagogiques en matière d’éducation à la santé.


7th European Conference on African Studies

7th European Conference on African Studies, 29 June 2017 - The Centre for African Studies Basel and the Swiss Society for African Studies welcome you to the 7th European Conference on African Studies ECAS 2017 with the theme: Urban Africa - Urban Africans: New encounters of the rural and the urban, which they organise on behalf of the Research Network of African Studies Centres in Europe AEGIS.


9th IAS Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2017)

The IAS Conference, 23 July 2017 - Bonjour! It is with great pleasure that we invite you to take part in the 9th IAS Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2017) on 23-26 July 2017 at the Palais des Congrès in Paris, France. This biennial gathering is the largest open scientific conference on HIV and AIDS related issues - bringing together a broad cross-section of more than 6,000 professionals from around the world to meet and examine the latest scientific developments in HIV-related research with a focus on moving science into practice and policy.

read more... is a project of the Network Medicus Mundi Switzerland.