In This Issue:
- Update: 33rd PCB Overview
- Update on Lancet Commission
- Update on 34th PCB Thematic Segment
- 2013 NGO Report In Brief
- Delegation’s Statement on Nigeria’s Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act
- Update on 34th PCB Meeting
Update: 33rd PCB Overview
The 33rd Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) meeting agenda covered items on the coordination of technical support, as well as the strategic use of antiretroviral medications for treatment and prevention of HIV. Discussions on the post-2015 agenda were also prominent throughout the Board meeting. Through collaborating with other Civil Society groups globally in a call for a High Level Meeting (HLM), the Delegation was able to lead on negotiations that successfully resulted in the PCB inviting the United Nations General Assembly to consider convening a High Level Meeting on HIV at an appropriate time after 2015, to help ensure accountability towards the achievement of universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support in the post-2015 era. A one day thematic session focussed on HIV, Youth and Adolescents was also held.
The delegation faced vocal criticisms from a small number of Member States in relation to the right of the Delegation to bring Decision Points to the meeting and the quality and validity of the research in the NGO Report. Nevertheless, a majority of Member States voiced their strong support for the Delegation’s important contribution to discussions at the PCB, the success of its work and its watchdog role. — Read the full 33rd PCB Communiqué here
UNAIDS & Lancet Commission to Put Forward Recommendations on AIDS & Global Health for The Post 2015 Debate
The UNAIDS and Lancet Commission: Defeating AIDS – Advancing global health had a meeting in London on the future of AIDS and global health in the Post-2015 era—the recommendations will be published in The Lancet later this year.
“The fight against AIDS is not over yet. We need to intensify efforts to achieve a historic victory against this disease,” said the President of the Republic of Ghana John Dramani Mahama. “Everyone has a key role to play in achieving this objective. We have to take action to ensure that we are doing the best possible for our countries, for our people and for humanity.”
“We have made remarkable progress in the fight against AIDS but the fight is not over and complacency is our worst enemy,” said the President of Benin, Yayi Boni through a video message. “Ending AIDS and extreme poverty is a shared responsibility that must be a priority for Africa and the world.”
The Commission, which was established in early 2013 brings together more than 40 Heads of State and political leaders, HIV and health experts, young people, activists, scientists and private sector representatives to ensure that lessons learned in the AIDS response can be applied to transform how countries and partners approach health and development. — Read the full Press Release here
“Social Drivers” Is Selected as The Topic for 34th PCB Thematic Segment
The thematic for the 34th meeting of the PCB will be “Tackling social and economic drivers of HIV through social protection”. This theme was recommended by the NGO Delegation and co-sponsored by the Social Protection Care and Support Inter-Agency Task Team of the Joint Programme. The thematic is a timely follow-up to a January consultation, co-hosted by UNAIDS and the World Bank, Action on Social Drivers to End AIDS and Extreme Poverty. The consultation resulted in a joint commitment by UNAIDS and the World Bank to link the two goals of ending AIDS and ending extreme poverty and inequality by addressing the social drivers that drive conditions among women and girls and other key populations, including men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers, people who have been incarcerated, migrants and others who have been stigmatized based on race, ethnicity or country of origin.
The fact is that stigma and discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation or identity and other characteristics that define key populations cause social and economic marginalization that cause extreme deprivation, driving poverty and inequality, but also putting people at risk of HIV infection. Of course, HIV infection then often causes even more impoverishment in a vicious cycle. The thematic for the 34th meeting of the PCB is intended to clearly articulate the way activities that are often called structural interventions, critical enablers, or HIV-specific and HIV-sensitive social protections serve critical roles both in the care of people living with HIV as well as relative to prevention for persons from marginalized groups who are not yet infected. The thematic will highlight the way in which these activities can also serve to eliminate extreme poverty and inequality, a key to giving people in key populations the resilience to withstand HIV infection or to live well notwithstanding HIV.
A key message, whether implicitly or explicitly expressed in the thematic presentation, will be that there is no bio-medical response that will end the epidemic without a simultaneous commitment to necessary social support. Further, that social support can more than pay for itself in the development of health and economically vibrant communities if robustly implemented. The NGO Delegation is hopeful that this thematic will lead to important decision points in the 35th meeting of the PCB that endorse the outcomes of the UNAIDS/World Bank consultation and commit the Joint Programme to putting action to address social drivers at the heart of the AIDS response.
2013 NGO Report In Brief
In 2013, the NGO Report to the UNAIDS PCB expressed civil society concerns from all parts of the world about the lack of access to HIV diagnostics, treatment and care by people living with HIV. The report titled “The Equity Deficit: Unequal and Unfair Access to HIV Treatment, Care and Support for Key Affected Communities” especially examined access issues for gay men and other men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers, and people who inject drugs: populations that persistently struggle for visibility and access to health services in many contexts.
The report methodology was based on a meta-analysis of over 100 research papers and data sources from different organizations, accompanied by supportive and critical comments from community experts. Comments and other input were provided by representatives from 40 groups, including sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender people, people who inject drugs and treatment advocates worldwide, were interviewed and/or participated in group discussions.
The main message of the report is that key populations are still left far behind relative to accessing HIV treatment, care and support. The “equity deficit” is real and constitutes a tremendous challenge to addressing the epidemic and moving further along the path to ending AIDS. To address the “equity deficit”, the NGO Report put forward the following recommendations to UNAIDS and member states:
- Ensure that the implementation of new biomedical preventative technologies (including treatment as prevention) proceeds with the full and meaningful engagement of key populations;
- Increase investments for treatment, care and support for sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender people and people who use drugs;
- Intensify coordinated technical support to governments, civil society and key affected communities;
- Convene a High Level Meeting on HIV by the end of 2016 to reaffirm and renew political commitments, to ensure accountability towards the achievement of universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support in the post 2015 era. — Read the full report here
Universal Access VS The Nigerian Same Sex Prohibition Act
The PCB NGO Delegation expressed concern and condemnation for the recent Nigerian Same Sex [Prohibition] Act 2014. The Delegation urged the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) along with its Co-Sponsors – UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank – as well as Member States and multilateral and bilateral donors, to take meaningful action.
The Delegation wholeheartedly supported the joint statement of January 14th 2014 by UNAIDS and the Global Fund on this subject. The statement noted: “The new law could prevent access to essential HIV services for LGBT people who may be at high risk of HIV infection, undermining the success of the Presidential Comprehensive Response Plan for HIV/AIDS which was launched by President Goodluck Jonathan less than a year ago. “
Nigeria is one of the largest recipients of Global Fund grants and is expected to be preparing a submission under the Global Fund’s New Funding Model in the next six months. Nigeria also has the second largest HIV epidemic globally: in 2012, there were an estimated 3.4 million people living with HIV in Nigeria. In 2010, national HIV prevalence in Nigeria was estimated at 4% among the general population and 17% among men who have sex with men. — Read the full article here
Upcoming 34th PCB Meeting
The upcoming 34th PCB Meeting will take place on 01 – 03 July 2014 in Geneva. A topic for 34th PCB Thematic Segment has been decided on “Addressing Social and Economic Drivers of HIV Through Social Protection”.
Governance Key Documents:
More information & documents for the meeting will be posted on www.unaidspcbngo.org as soon as they become available.
UNAIDS PCB NGO Delegation Bids Farewell to:
- Mabel Bianco – Latin America & The Caribbean
- Jane Bruning – Asia & The Pacific
- Ebony Johnson – USA & North America
Their commitment to the Delegation, as well as the role and rights of civil society & communities in HIV responses will be sorely missed
Click here to get to know the current UNAIDS PCB NGO Delegation.
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The Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) is the governing body of UNAIDS. It is made up of 22 voting Member States, 11 UN Cosponsors and an NGO Delegation consisting of 5 delegates and 5 alternates. The NGO Delegation brings to the PCB the perspectives and expertise of people living with, most affected by, and most at risk of or vulnerable to HIV, as well as civil society and nongovernmental entities actively involved in HIV and AIDS. The Delegation works to ensure that human rights and equitable, gender-sensitive access to comprehensive HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support are reinforced by the policies, programmes, strategies and actions of the PCB and UNAIDS.
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