aidsfocus news

aidsfocus news
September 2016

Sep 21, 2016


Dear aidsfocus readers,

In the face of the high incidence of HIV infections and new cases – around 2 million people are infected annually with HIV – there is a pressing need for an increase in prevention measures. Everyone facing a heightened risk of HIV infection has the right to comprehensive HIV prevention services. Mere education or distribution of condoms does not suffice.

During a side event at the High Level Meeting in New York in June 2016, a sex-worker from Kenya recounted her experiences taking PrEP – pre-exposure prophylaxis. She described how she was raped by a policeman at a police station and then, on her way home, encountered a further three policemen... None of them would use a condom. She emphasised how fortunate she feels to have had access to PrEP and to remain HIV negative to this day.

PrEP is being discussed as an innovative prevention method to reduce the large number of new infections. The medication is effective and cost-efficient, as has been verified by a number of studies, particularly amongst high-risk groups such as men who have sex with men, intravenous drug users and people with HIV-positive partners. At the AIDS conference in Durban, the importance of new means of prevention, above all for heavily affected sections of the population, was much discussed. UNAIDS estimates that only 50,000 of the estimated three million people facing a high risk of HIV have access to pre-exposure prophylaxis.

PrEP is only effective if taken regularly. Many questions remain unanswered: are there enough delivery points? Who should receive this medication? Is there the risk that other methods of protection such as condoms will be neglected, therefore leading to an increased incidence of other sexually-transmitted diseases? How high are the costs? Which guidelines and policies need to be developed? Could PrEP be a valid prevention strategy amongst young African women, who are disproportionately affected by HIV? Finding answers to these questions is the task of public health experts and researchers in order to produce the required evidence necessary to develop high-quality programmes and services for those people for whom it appears to be most expedient.

In our topic of the month, Médecins Sans Frontières Switzerland present their “Corridor” HIV project, a programme in Mozambique and Malawi designed to secure access to antiretroviral (ARV) medication and PrEP for high-risk groups.

Carine Weiss


Project Leader, Medicus Mundi Switzerland

Topic of the month

Porter assistance aux travailleuses du sexe dans le Corridor

MSF - Un fort besoin de soins, mais un accès très limité aux traitements contre le VIH. Les « populations clés », notamment les professionnelles du sexe et les hommes ayant des relations sexuelles avec d’autres hommes, ont à la fois davantage de risques de contracter le VIH et un moins bon accès aux traitements antirétroviraux.


Information from the Swiss community of practice

MMS/ applauds the world leaders to invest nearly 13 Billion USD in the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria for 2017 - 2019

MMS/ - World leaders, faith-based organisations, the private sector, NGOs and civil society organisations met for two days at the fifth Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, hosted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Montreal, Quebec (September 16-17). A total of US$12.9 billion was formally pledged which will ensure life-saving treatment and prevention programs for millions of people around the world through 2019.


Applying Human Rights to Sexual and Reproductive Health - a Reality for All?

MMS/ - Online-Bulletin of the conference of 4 May 2016


International news

Donors Pledge Nearly $13 Billion

The Global Fund, Montreal - "At the launch of the Global Fund’s Fifth Replenishment, donors pledged over US$12.9 billion for the next three years, demonstrating extraordinary global commitment toward ending the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria for good.


$12 billion for the Global Fund – but we needed $15 billion

STOPAIDS - "Just over $12bn was committed to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria by world leaders at a pledging conference in Washington DC last night. The money raised will help to save millions of lives from the three diseases as the world looks to finally bring the epidemics under control.


MSF response to the outcome of the replenishment meeting of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria

Médecins Sans Frontières - "The Global Fund closed its fifth Replenishment Conference with over USD 12.9 billion pledged, out of its funding target of USD 13 billion requested of donors.


Refocused Global Fund starts to hit key populations - "A successful community-driven India HIV/AIDS Alliance programme that provided critical services to nearly 500,000 members of key population groups has had to close. What impact are recent decisions by the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria going to have on the lives of key populations?


HIV effort let down by test shortages, says WHO

BBC - "A shortage of HIV testing could undermine global efforts to diagnose and treat people with the infection, warn experts from the World Health Organization.


Reports and Studies

Global Fund Report Shows 20 Million Lives Saved

The Global Fund - "Programs supported by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria have saved 20 million lives, according to a report released today.


Separating Myths from Facts: Donor funding for the HIV response

Health Gap - "Over the past 15 years, wealthy countries have played a critical role in the global AIDS response through international development assistance.


Should we ask patients to contribute to the cost of their care?

BMC Public Health - "Across sub-Saharan Africa, up to 20 % of total spending on health is used for HIV services, and of this over 85 % is estimated to come from international funding rather than in-country sources."


Building from the HIV Response toward Universal Health Coverage

PLOS Medicine - Gaining Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is a major global health goal. Contemporary concepts are mainly inspired by the idea that enrolling a large proportion of the population to financing programs can achive UHC.



A Strong Start - Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the 2030 Agenda

EuroNGOs, 4 October 2016 - In the past few years, the SRHR community has heavily engaged in the post-2015 process, which culminated in the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015, with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Working in Fragile Contexts and Building up Resilient Health Systems

Medicus Mundi Schweiz Symposium, 2 November 2016 - To end preventable child and maternal deaths, create an AIDS-Free Generation, and protect communities against infectious diseases such as Ebola, we need effective, functional health systems that can deliver essential health services to those in need. International health organisations are more and more obliged to work in fragile contexts where the environment is marked by instability, the public structures are weak or quick to collapse and the rule of law is lacking.


Building on Success – Malaria Control and Elimination

Swiss TPH, 8 December 2016 - The Swiss TPH Winter Symposium 2016 invites medical and health sector specialists to review and discuss the history, successes and future of Malaria Control and Elimination.

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