Nadia Rafif (NGO Africa Alternate Delegate) and Sara Simon (Programme Manager, Communications Facility) attended a ground breaking conference from 16-18 April 2011 in Saudi Arabia. In a rare event, the Saudi Ministry of Health hosted a conference to bring together health officials, UN agencies and civil society in the region to talk about the situation of HIV in the Gulf countries. The conference showed the lack of information there is regarding HIV in this region as well as the challenges to addressing key populations most vulnerable to HIV transmission in the area.
Some areas of frank discussion included:
- Is HIV a national problem or is it ‘imported’ via the high level of migrant workers?
- What should be done when ‘guest’ workers test positive? (Note: Deportation is the current response and testing remains mandatory before departure to the Gulf and once living in the Gulf)
- How should HIV be addressed in an Islamic culture and how can religious leaders play a role in disseminating correct information about HIV?
- How should key vulnerable population groups – men who have sex with men, people who use drugs and sex workers – be addressed when none of these populations are recognized?
- How can media be used for education and against stigma and discrimination?
- Stigma and discrimination are rampant, so what needs to be done to protect human rights?
The representatives of the NGO Delegation took part in some of the conference’s panels. Nadia spoke about the use of media and shared some best practices. She focused on ALCS experiences working with media in the field of HIV, including the production of guidelines for HIV and journalists, as well as the organization of a major awareness campaign on Moroccan TV entitled “Sidaction Maroc”.
Sara spoke about the role of civil society at the global level on the UNAIDS board. She talked about the 2010 NGO report and its focus on stigma and discrimination, which is a reminder to everyone that the fulfillment of human rights is fundamental to stopping the transmission of HIV.
Copies of the presentations are available; please see below for links. The Saudi Initiative to Combat AIDS in the GCC Countries’ website can be found at http://www.sit-fagr.org in Arabic and English.
2011 Cost Effectiveness Hamidreza v1 – https://docs.google.com/present/edit?id=0AUo2ZlnFgFAuZGY5N3Jnd3JfMTY2YzdkbWNyZHc&hl=fr&authkey=CLn_rvcO
UNAIDS 2011 Cost Effectiveness Hamidreza v1 – https://docs.google.com/present/edit?id=0AUo2ZlnFgFAuZGY5N3Jnd3JfNjUwdjg5azhxbg&hl=fr&authkey=CJjm68QO
UNAIDS 2011 Global Epidemic Hamidreza final – https://docs.google.com/present/edit?id=0AUo2ZlnFgFAuZGY5N3Jnd3JfODk2ZG1xbThucDY&hl=fr&authkey=COja9_QF
ARV for Prevention Riyadh Final – https://docs.google.com/present/edit?id=0AUo2ZlnFgFAuZGY5N3Jnd3JfMjAxZzh0YnY2ZnY&hl=fr&authkey=CNywn7sH
Framework_Arabic.pptx – UNODC : https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B0o2ZlnFgFAuMjU4OTk0NzQtMDFmNC00ZDIxLTliMTUtYmRhOGZhYTU1OWFl&hl=fr&authkey=CPb3zdoF
V11 final REGIONAL PMTCT KSA PRES – https://docs.google.com/present/edit?id=0AUo2ZlnFgFAuZGY5N3Jnd3JfOTQ5ZmZ2cno4ZzM&hl=fr&authkey=CJGEnu0N
Harm Reduction Malaysia – Riyadh – https://docs.google.com/present/edit?id=0AUo2ZlnFgFAuZGY5N3Jnd3JfMjU4ZHJyY3I1ZDY&hl=fr&authkey=CLvO2oYB
Abu_AIDS lecture (Final)-1 – https://docs.google.com/present/edit?id=0AUo2ZlnFgFAuZGY5N3Jnd3JfMTY2ZnJ3d2I5Z2I&hl=fr&authkey=CKHohawO
MENA Friends of the Global Fund & Media – https://docs.google.com/present/edit?id=0AUo2ZlnFgFAuZGY5N3Jnd3JfNjA2aGhxYjNnNGY&hl=fr&authkey=CJfi2tUO
المبادرة السعودية لمكافحة الإيدز بدول مجلس التعاون.doc – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cKcVW4rxvsEoGuiov–mHwBl8REkdAyT0SBCsJ0K2Hg/edit?hl=fr&authkey=CLGz8oQG
تقديم د.منجية السوحي-تونس – https://docs.google.com/present/edit?id=0AUo2ZlnFgFAuZGY5N3Jnd3JfMTA2OGRyaGtyMmc4&hl=fr&authkey=COTVmL4I
دور القادة الدينيين في الحماية من الايدز – https://docs.google.com/present/edit?id=0AUo2ZlnFgFAuZGY5N3Jnd3JfMTA3Mmc4bWtoM2Zo&hl=fr&authkey=CIu0ne8P