aidsfocus news

aidsfocus news
June 2016 / Revised Version!

Jun 01, 2016


Can the High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS in New York next week fulfil expectations?

Dear aidsfocus readers

Preparations for the High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS at the UN headquarters in New York from 8-10 June are in full swing. The 193 UN member states and over 560 representatives of civil society and NGOs are expected to attend. The 2016 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS has been discussed intensively during the past month. It constitutes an important basis for ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. But civil society organisations around the world fear that this High-Level Meeting will fail to accomplish the desired political and financial commitments necessary to actually end AIDS by 2030.

A scandal in the run-up to the meeting has been that politically conservative countries such as Russia, Cameroon and Jamaica (to name a few) have banned the participation of several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which are campaigning for the rights of groups at risk of HIV such as lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, transsexual and intersexual (LGBTI) people and drug-users.

The wording of the 2016 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS is highly progressive regarding the observance of human rights, comprehensive sexuality education, gender equality, sexual and gender-based violence and the empowerment of women. Civil society organisations throughout the world have been active in the negotiations since the beginning of the year and have been advocating at regional and national levels for the Political Declaration to have a strong effect. On 10 June this Political Declaration, On the Fast-Track to End AIDS in the Age of Sustainable Development, is due to be adopted by the UN General Assembly. But it is yet to be seen whether its progressive stance will be retained.

Switzerland is co-facilitator of the High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS in New York together with Zambia. We are travelling to New York with a broad delegation headed by Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter with representatives from the administration and civil society.

Switzerland is taking a stance in the fight against HIV/AIDS as a mediator in the international negotiations on this disease. The participation of Medicus Mundi Switzerland as a representative of civil society is another signal for the importance of including civil society in the fight against HIV/AIDS. This demonstrates Switzerland's strong commitment to reaching the sustainable development goal of eradicating the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

Carine Weiss


Project Leader, Medicus Mundi Switzerland

Topic of the month

MMS/ as representative of the civil society at the High Level Meeting in New York from 8 to 10 June

MMS / was asked to represent the civil society in the Swiss delegation to the High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS, to be held in New York from 8 to 10 June 2016. This meeting is co-facilitated by Switzerland and Zambia on behalf of the President of the UN General Assembly.


Information from the Swiss community of practice

MMS/ participated at the 35th Board Meeting of the Global Fund

35th Global Fund Board Meeting, 26-27 April 2016 in Abidjan - The Global Fund Board has approved the new strategy to guide the organization for the next six years. MMS/ participated at the 35th Board Meeting in Abidjan. Important decision points were approved.


DOCUMENTATION MMS/ conference, 4 May 2016 - Applying human rights to Sexual and Reproductive Health!



Aids-Hilfe Schweiz - GET TESTED is a campaign run by Aids Help Switzerland. Its aim is to encourage men and women to know their own HIV status, while also breaking down prejudice and fear of discrimination.


International news

AIDS 2016: Community Voices

AIDS 2016 - The 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) will offer a best-in-class programme of over 500 conference activities and sessions driven by top science and research discoveries.


Muslim states block 11 LGBT groups from attending UN Aids meeting

The Guardian - "A group of 51 Muslim states has blocked 11 gay and transgender organizations from attending a high-level meeting at the United Nations next month on ending Aids, sparking a protest by the US, Canada and the EU.


69th World Health Assembly: speakers at high-level side event call for a Fast-Track response to end the AIDS epidemic among women and adolescent girls

World Health Assembly, Geneva 23 May 2016 - "At a high-level side event held during the 69th session of the World Health Assembly, taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, delegates have urged countries to end gender inequity in the response to HIV by putting women and adolescent girls on the Fast-Track to ending the AIDS epidemic.


UNAIDS announces 2 million more people living with HIV on treatment in 2015, bringing new total to 17 million

UNAIDS - "An estimated 17 million people were accessing life-saving antiretroviral medicines at the end of 2015, with an additional 2 million people gaining access over a 12-month period. The announcement, made in a new UNAIDS report entitled Global AIDS update 2016, comes as world leaders prepare to gather for the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS, to take place in New York, United States of America, from 8 to 10 June 2016.


Universal health coverage: political courage to leave no one behind

The Lancet - "Thanks to the leadership of Angela Merkel and Shinzo Abe, universal health coverage (UHC) is on the agenda of the G7 Summit.1 The achievement of UHC will contribute to increased global health security by tackling much of the world's ill health and associated poverty. As the G7 Summit approaches, it is time to consider what it will take to get to UHC by 2030.


Overcoming Challenges in Global Health

The Global Fund - "Partners in global health have made tremendous progress in the last decade in the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. By working together and involving people affected by the diseases, civil society, the private sector and governments, we have seen progress way beyond what seemed possible only a few years ago. But achieving impact was relatively easy: The need was so great that almost anything we did had impact. (by Mark Dybul)


WCC video calls for strong action to end AIDS epidemic

World Council of Churches - “Leave no one behind.” That’s the urgent message of the World Council of Churches’ general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit in a video released in preparation for a United Nations (UN) High Level Meeting on AIDS in New York, 8-10 June.


Government Denies Liability in the Forced and Coerced Sterilization of a Woman Living with HIV

KELIN, Kenya - "The National Government has denied that it played a role in the forced and coerced sterilization of a woman living with HIV. In his response to petition 606, the Attorney General opposed the petition on grounds that it was not party to the actions of forced and coerced sterilization as complained of by the petitioner.


Reports and Studie

Global AIDS Update 2016

UNAIDS - The world has committed to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. How to reach this bold target within the Sustainable Development Goals is the central question facing the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS, to be held from 8 to 10 June 2016.

read more... to Bring Better Access, Prices, Transparency to Global Health

The Global Fund - "The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the Government of Canada announced a new online marketplace today that is projected to save at least US$250 million in the coming four years by offering health implementers competitive prices for medicines and health commodities.


The need for routine viral load testing

UNAIDS - Greatly expanded access to routine viral load testing will be a game-changer in the global response to AIDS. Routine viral load tests improve treatment quality and individual health outcomes for people living with HIV, contribute to prevention, and potentially reduce resource needs for costly second- and third-line HIV medicines.



UNAIDS fundraising gala to increase access to HIV services for women and children

UNAIDS 13 June 2016 - UNAIDS in collaboration with the Hotel InterContinental Geneva, Cartier and Design Miami, is organizing a fundraising gala to take place on 13 June during the Art Basel week in Basel, Switzerland.


21st International AIDS Conference

AIDS 2016, 17 July 2016 - It is with pleasure that we invite you to take part in the 21st International AIDS Conference, on 17-22 July 2016 in Durban, South Africa. The biennial International AIDS Conference truly is the premier meeting where science, leadership and community meet for advancing all facets of our collective efforts to treat and prevent HIV.


Health in Fragile Contexts

MMS/SRC/SDC, 24 August 2016In an increasing number of countries the implementation of health programmes is challenged by fragile contexts. At the same time, fragility of a state is considered as one of the main causes for malfunctioning health services. Emergency situations aggravate such situation and reveal the weaknesses of the system. These settings evoke not only questions on how to adapt to shaking working environment or on sustainability, but also whether health programmes could make a contribution to reduce fragility.