Archive for July, 2015

Recommendations of Latin America to the Global Fund

Recommendations of Latin America to the Global Fund

  • 31st July 2015
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The Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria has implemented its strategy to finally eradicate these three diseases. This strategy is planned to be applied until 2021. In this context, in June 2015 a virtual survey was conducted to the civil society in Latin America, which consisted of 10 questions that departed from the feedback provided by civil society in the Partnership Forum carried out in April this year. People from all over Latin America participated in the survey with the exception of Chile, Cuba and Uruguay. Attended by leaders and representatives of organizations of people with HIV, trans women, and sex workers, among many others. From the results of the survey the following recommendations were consolidated, which will be sent to the Secretariat of the Global Fund: About women, girls and gender equality: It is important that the Global Fund makes any investment and coordination for the promotion…
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Colombia – The country shows great progress in equality of the LGBT population

Colombia – The country shows great progress in equality of the LGBT population

  • 31st July 2015
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In the month of pride, Colombia celebrates its great achievements in the field of recognition of rights for the LGBT community. On June 4, it was issued the 1227 decree, which allows an easy and quick, change sex in two important identity documents: civil registry and the identity card, which is no more than the official identification document for all Colombian adults. For many years, the sex change process was complex, tedious and even forced the individual to report themselves as ill psychiatric patients, as part of the process. Today, thanks to the 1227 decree, sex change is a simple notarial process that can be carried out twice in life with an interval of 10 years minimum. Some of the achievements made in the country, and which serve as an example for other countries in the region, is for example, the case of an openly lesbian woman who was promoted…
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Discrimination Contributes to High Rates of HIV among Transgender Women

Discrimination Contributes to High Rates of HIV among Transgender Women

  • 30th July 2015
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“Just shocking rates,” JoAnne Keatly, commented. “There was a recent meta-analysis demonstrating that a transgender woman was 49 times as likely to be living with HIV [than the general population] in 15 countries.” Keatly is one author of a recent World Health Organization report that addresses the inadequate healthcare provided for transgender women. In addition to the general population, the HIV prevalence among transgender women sex workers is nine times greater than the prevalence among non-transgender female sex workers. Transgender women also have high rates of substance use, depression, and suicide. But what is to blame for these concerning statistics? The recent report states that “structural and social inequalities, such as widespread stigma and discrimination” are at the root of inhibiting the prevention and treatment of illnesses. In most countries, transgender people are unable to obtain gender-appropriate legal identification or must undergo costly genital surgery to receive documentation. Without gender-congruent…
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Simple, Yet Inventive Technology to Deliver HIV Medication to Infants

Simple, Yet Inventive Technology to Deliver HIV Medication to Infants

  • 21st July 2015
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Following in Cuba’s footsteps, health professionals in Ecuador have taken creative strides to end mother-to-child HIV transmission. Students at the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University, many of them from Ecuador, designed a small pouch to deliver antiretroviral medication to infants. Viewing the small ketchup-sachet-shaped containers, one would never guess that these packets save thousands of lives. Infants born to mothers with HIV must take antiretroviral medicine during their first weeks of life to reduce the risk of transmission. However, as many parents can attest, delivering exact dosages to new-born children is no easy task. As Rosa, a mother in Ecuador described, “We used to get a small bottle with a dropper, but that spilled and it was difficult to measure the dose.” She continued, “But now with the pouch it is easy to put all the liquid in the baby’s mouth without spilling or spoiling it.” The pouches…
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Cuba – Mother-to-child hiv transmission and syphilis are no longer a problem

Cuba – Mother-to-child hiv transmission and syphilis are no longer a problem

  • 14th July 2015
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On June 30, 2015 Cuba went down in history as the first country to eradicate mother-to-child hiv transmission and syphilis. This recognition was awarded by the World Health Organization (WHO). “The elimination of the transmission of a virus is one of the greatest possible achievements in public health”, said Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO. “This is an important victory in our long struggle against hiv and sexually transmitted infections, and an important step towards an hiv-free Generation”, he concluded. This achievement of Cuba is an example for all other countries that universal access to treatment is essential to achieve the eradication of hiv, and the 90-90-90 goals, proposed by UNAIDS. In addition to this, we demonstrate that the hiv epidemic is possible. More than 1.4 million women with hiv become pregnant annually in the world. If they do not receive appropriate antiretroviral treatment, they might have a 15% to 45%…
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Partnership with the Private Sector in the hiv Response

Partnership with the Private Sector in the hiv Response

  • 10th July 2015
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The city of Panama hosted the first Ibero-American Meeting of Initiatives with Companies in the HIV response. The activity was organized by Fundación Huésped from Argentina and UNAIDS Latin America. Companies, agencies and organizations attended this first Ibero-American Meeting of Initiatives with Companies in the HIV response. The purpose of the event was to create a space to share strategies, achievements and lessons learned by different initiatives with the private sector in Latin America and Spain. “Most people with hiv are in the economically active age range. However, reports of stigma and discrimination index of people with HIV show that this population is still subject to discrimination and exclusion in the workplace. The participation of the private sector in the response to hiv is an opportunity in the promotion of a social context free of stigma and discrimination”, said Leandro Cahn, Executive Director of Fundación Huésped. On the other hand,…
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Goals to achieve an HIV-free generation

Goals to achieve an HIV-free generation

  • 10th July 2015
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A few days ago, UNAIDS, PAHO and the HTCG convened a group of representatives from governments, civil society and other organizations related to the HIV response in Latin America to meet in Panama to discuss combination prevention in 2020 and 2030. UNAIDS has developed a strategy known as Fast Track and, which seeks to fulfill the 90-90-90 challenges. This strategy also seeks to reduce the rate of new infections to 500 thousand per year. Working hard over the next few years could make a big difference between successful, maintenance, stabilization or failure. In theory, if 90% of people with HIV are in treatment and show viral suppression, and have access to all means to prevent transmission, the possibility of infection among people will be virtually zero. This could be reached by using a package of prevention, which is nothing more than a strategy combining “information, communication, education, HIV diagnosis, condoms,…
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Costa Rica – country goes back on universal access to treatment

Costa Rica – country goes back on universal access to treatment

  • 3rd July 2015
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Fifteen years ago, Costa Rica was a pioneer in universal access to antiretroviral therapy. However, today the reality is different: requirements demanded to people with HIV have left many of them without access to medicines. A few weeks ago, Costa Rican activists put in evidence the situation of abandonment that suffer hundreds of people with HIV, who are unable to access antiretroviral treatment because of the regulations of the Costa Rican Department of Social Security. Since the ‘90s, the country has offered antiretroviral treatment to all citizens with HIV who require it. All this is thanks to the hard work of organizations of civil society and the Constitutional Court, which in the ‘90s, ordered the Costa Rican Department of Social Security to provide universal HIV treatment. On the other hand, most recently this past May, Rosibel Zúñiga, of REDCA in Costa Rica, took advantage of the presence of the Vice-President…
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Panama – Women United in the HIV Response

Panama – Women United in the HIV Response

  • 3rd July 2015
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This weekend, dozens of women with HIV or AIDS met in Panama to address and discuss a work proposal that responds to their needs. The meeting took place on 26 and 27 June, at the Hotel Roma in the city of Panama. Some of the areas that were be addressed were justice, the elimination of gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health, among others. After 30 years of the epidemic, the voices of many activists had been turning off and many existing networks were going through a strong organization crisis, which influenced the impact they could have on policy decisions taken at the national and regional levels. Supported by HIVOS, UNAIDS, UNDP and the HTCG, the networks of women decided to talk and work together towards common goals. Thus, for the first time, the Movimiento Latinoamericano y del Caribe de Mujeres Positivas (MLCM+), the international community of women with HIV (ICW…
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Paraguay – citizens demand comprehensive sex education

Paraguay – citizens demand comprehensive sex education

  • 1st July 2015
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For years it has been postponed the implementation of a public policy on comprehensive education for children and adolescents, which can prevent the infringement of the rights constantly suffered by this population. In Paraguay, according to an epidemiological report of PRONASIDA in 2013, near 6.71% of HIV cases are among adolescents aged 15 to 19. For years, it has been postponed the implementation of a public policy that helps build a responsible generation free of HIV. Three years ago, in 2012 the Ministry of Education and Culture of Paraguay rejected the proposal to integrate in the school curriculum a project called “Educational Framework of Comprehensive Sex Education”. Due to this rejection, the Ministry of Education and Culture impeded thousands of children and adolescents to receive information for the prevention of HIV and STIs. Recently, in Asunción a march took place, with the motto “my body, my territory, neither use it…
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