UNAIDS welcomes the appointment of Ambassador Deborah Birx as the new US Global AIDS Coordinator UNAIDS

UNAIDS welcomes the appointment of Ambassador Deborah Birx as the new US Global AIDS Coordinator

UNAIDS

03/04/2014

Press statement

GENEVA, 3 April 2014The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) congratulates Dr Deborah Birx on her confirmation as Ambassador at Large and Coordinator of US Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS Globally, leading the US Government’s international HIV efforts.

Ambassador Birx is a highly respected leader in the field of HIV and until her appointment as Coordinator served as the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Global HIV/AIDS.

“Ambassador Birx is widely recognized for her passion and commitment to the AIDS response and has already made a huge impact during her sterling career,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “PEPFAR is a key partner of UNAIDS and I am confident that under Ambassador Birx’s visionary leadership PEPFAR will continue its extraordinary success in preventing new HIV infections and expanding access to treatment”

Having received widespread recognition for her work in AIDS vaccine research, Ambassador Birx was awarded the US Meritorious Service Medal for her significant contribution to the field. She also played an instrumental role as the Director of the US Military HIV Research Program and as the Director of the Division of Retrovirology at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research from 1996 to 2005.

UNAIDS and PEPFAR are longstanding partners and have collaborated on many initiatives, including expanding access to treatment, stopping new HIV infections among children through the Global Plan towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children by 2015 and keeping their mothers alive, and ensuring a long-term, sustainable response to HIV.

Contact
UNAIDS Geneva | Sophie Barton-Knott | tel. +41 22 791 1697 | bartonknotts@unaids.org


UNAIDS

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners to maximize results for the AIDS response. Learn more at unaids.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

ONU reconoce avances de América Latina en combate a enfermedades

ONU reconoce avances de América Latina en combate a enfermedades

Prensa Latina, Cuba

03/04/2014

 

Reina Magdariaga

 

Quito, 3 mar (PL) El director del Programa Conjunto de Naciones Unidas sobre VIH Sida para América Latina (ONUSida), César Antonio Núñez, reconoció hoy aquí los avances de la región en la lucha contra el sida, la malaria y la tuberculosis.

Además de afirmar que este continente es el que más tratamiento ofrece en número absoluto, comparado con otros, todavía refleja nuevas infecciones de VIH, por lo que aún hay una agenda pendiente, dijo en declaraciones a Prensa Latina.

 

El directivo de ONUSida insistió en la necesidad de ofrecer las pruebas de diagnósticos, tanto para VIH, como para tuberculosis y malaria, que permitan captar a las personas que todavía no se han beneficiado con la disponibilidad de los servicios de salud.

 

Asimismo, auguró que para el 2015 cuando este objetivo de desarrollo del milenio sea evaluado, a partir de la rendición de cuentas de los países, los resultados sean halagüeños.

 

“En el caso de la malaria, particularmente, vamos a tener los números más satisfactorios, no obstante en VIH y tuberculosis nos queda la satisfacción del trabajo realizado, pero el desafío es disminuir aun más las nuevas infecciones”.

 

A propósito de ello, Núñez sugirió que el financiamiento que pone a disposición de los países el Fondo Mundial no sea sustitutivo del compromiso nacional, sino que potencie la responsabilidad compartida, explicó.

 

Ante una interrogante sobre los países que se han destacado en el desarrollo de iniciativas para prevenir las tres enfermedades, mencionó a Cuba y Costa Rica como naciones que invierten más en salud, en proporción al Producto Interno Bruto.

 

Sobre la importancia de la prevención desde la etapa de la niñez y la adolescencia, dijo que en 2008 los ministros de Salud y Educación de América Latina firmaron la declaración de compromiso para que el sistema educacional apoyara en ese sentido.

 

Cuando escudriñamos el modo de transmisión del VIH -que es sexual-, los hombres que tienen sexo con hombres reportan un 10 por ciento de prevalencia en casi todos los países, explicó.

 

Sin embargo, reconoció que es más intenso en las mujeres transexuales. Ellas reportan un 30 por ciento en la mayoría de las naciones, y eso es la parte del enfoque.

ONU pide no bajar la guardia en lucha contra VIH/SIDA pese a logros en región

ONU pide no bajar la guardia en lucha contra VIH/SIDA pese a logros en región

EFE, Spain

02/04/2014

Story carried by La Información, Spain; Aguas Digital, Mexico; El Periodiquito, Venezuela; Vistazo, Ecuador

Quito, 2 abr.- El director regional de Onusida, César Núñez, pidió hoy, en Quito, no bajar la guardia en la lucha contra el VIH/SIDA pese a los avances logrados en la región, donde unos 1,6 millones de personas viven con la enfermedad.

“No podemos entrar en complacencia, como se entró en el tema de la tuberculosis en los años 70. Todo lo que hemos avanzado ahorita en VIH no lo tiremos a la basura, no los desechemos porque nos sentimos complacidos de que hemos alcanzado un nivel de cobertura en las Américas, que es el más alto de todo el mundo”, dijo.

Apuntó que “la cobertura de medicación promedio es del 72 %” y señaló que en Ecuador, por ejemplo, hay 14.000 personas en tratamiento, lo que representa el 76 % de personas que lo necesitan. En el país andino el total de personas que viven con VIH asciende a 52.000, dijo.

“América Latina, en temas de tratamiento, creo que va por buen camino y mi recomendación es intensificar esa entrega de tratamientos, a través de la mayor detección de nuevas infecciones”, dijo.

Recordó que tras el éxito en la lucha contra la tuberculosis en los años 70, se llegó “a un momento como de complacencia”, lo que tildó de “un gran error”.

“Ahora mismo, la tuberculosis es llamada una enfermedad infecciosa reemergente y no solo ha vuelto con la fuerza que solía tener en aquellos años, sino que ahora mismo tenemos una tuberculosis resistente a las múltiples drogas que ya existían en el mundo”, comentó en entrevista con Efe.

Según datos de 2012 de Onusida, 1,6 millones de personas viven con VIH en América Latina, de los cuales 175.000 son jóvenes de entre 15 y 24 años y 40.000 menores de quince años.

De acuerdo a Núñez, en Brasil hay unos 800.000 afectados por el VIH, mientras en México hay alrededor de 200.000.

Según la organización, desde 2001 hasta 2012, los casos de nuevas infecciones por el VIH descendieron en un 9 %.

Núñez señaló como uno de los temas pendientes en la lucha contra el VIH a “la prevención”, que debe involucrar a varios sectores para entregar mensajes, sobre todo a los jóvenes, y definió como uno de los más grandes obstáculos la discriminación y el estigma.

“Aún hoy, treinta y tantos años después de la epidemia en el mundo; aún hoy que se sabe que en los países donde hay tratamiento, las personas no van a morir de VIH; aún hoy que sabemos que una persona en tratamiento no transmite la infección, hay estigma y discriminación hacia ellos, hay un temor infundado y rechazo”, dijo.

Núñez participa en Quito en una reunión sobre el nuevo modelo de financiación del Fondo Mundial, diseñado para realizar inversiones más estratégicas que permitan obtener la máxima repercusión en la lucha contra el SIDA, la tuberculosis y la malaria.

El nuevo fondo cuenta para los próximos tres años con 12.000 millones de dólares para todo el mundo, de los cuales 600 millones se destinarán a la lucha contra las tres epidemias en América Latina y El Caribe.

Silvio Martinelli, jefe regional del Fondo Mundial, aseguró a Efe que América Latina en temas de lucha contra el VIH/SIDA está “mucho mejor que otras regiones del mundo”, como algunas africanas y otras de El Caribe.

Coincidió con Núñez en que no porque haya “logros muy importantes” se deben relajar las acciones: “Eso es lo peor que se puede hacer, (pues) vamos a perder los logros y volver a una situación de emergencia”, advirtió.

Por ello, indicó que se deben continuar los trabajos y destacó que uno de los desafíos es ahora enfocar la lucha contra la epidemia en sectores específicos como en hombres que mantienen relaciones sexuales con hombres, grupos transexuales o trabajadoras sexuales, entre otros.

Asimismo, apuntó que se debe incentivar la prevención más directa con la distribución de condones, informar sobre la importancia de realizarse las pruebas respectivas, así como incrementar la comunicación respeto al tema en los hogares.

Consideró que ahora hay una “oportunidad histórica” para atajar las epidemias, pues se puede construir “sobre logros muy importantes”.

Por ello, realzó citas como la de hoy en Quito, donde no sólo participan representantes de los gobiernos sino también agencias de cooperación, bancos de desarrollo y personas afectadas.

7

More people pledge to “Protect the Goal”

More people pledge to “Protect the Goal”

Citi FM, Ghana

03/04/2014

By: Sakyiwaa Mensah, UNAIDS Office

“Protect the Goal”, the global HIV advocacy campaign which is hinged on the idea of footballers doing all that they can to prevent their opponent from scoring them has had a successful run in Ghana since its launch.

The campaign runs with three key messages which are meant to keep the youth on alert and to try as much as possible to be on alert in moments of poor judgment.

The three key messages are use condoms, know your HIV status and reduce sexual partners.

For the third Wednesday running, various personalities have walked to the UNAIDS Office in Accra to pledge their support to the campaign and to openly make the declaration that they will do all that they can to prevent an HIV infection.

On Wednesday April 2nd 2014, among the personalities who signed the pledge were Kokui Selormey and Patrice Amegashie of This Morning on Viasat One, Vivian Kai Mensah and Nana Boakye Yiadom of Citi Business News, Richard Asante, the Youtube video sensation behind the “Kalybos” character, Moro Awudu of Radio XYZ, Tony Baffour, an Ex Black Stars Player, Owusu Mante, aka DJ Flexy of YFM.

Others included; Jefferson Sackey, the International Correspondent for the Multimedia Group, the General Manager of Multichoice Ghana, Cecil Sunkwa Mills, Nana K. Duah, Creative Director of Oxygen, Nana Nyarko Boateng of the Gird Center, one of the very best DJs in Ghana at the moment, DJ Mensah and actresses Edith Faalong, Vivian Achor and Ama Ampofo among a host of other personalities.

The pledging was hosted by the UNAIDS Country Director to Ghana, Girmay Haile and the Director General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Dr Angela El-Adas.

The three key messages are shared with them and the general response to HIV in Ghana is shared with them as well so they will have vital information about HIV and to fully understand what it is they are pledging for.

 This pledge signing will be done every Wednesday until the World Cup at the UNAIDS Office in Accra.

 

6

Strengthening efforts to overcome gender-based violence in Namibia

Strengthening efforts to overcome gender-based violence in Namibia

UNAIDS

02/04/2014

A new assessment report released by Victims 2 Survivors and UNAIDS is looking at the structural and institutional response to gender-based violence (GBV) in Namibia.

The report was disseminated during the commemoration of Orange Day, observed across the world on the 25th of every month, which takes its title from the official colour of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Unite to End Violence against Women campaign.

Gender-based violence (GBV) in Namibia: an exploratory assessment and mapping of GBV response services in Windhoek analyses the challenges encountered by survivors while trying to access services. It also makes key recommendations, including strengthening multisectoral coordination mechanisms, developing relevant standards and protocols to guide service provision, integrating GBV prevention and survivor support into reproductive health and HIV programmes and establishing a free national GBV helpline.

Bience Gawanas, Special Adviser to the Minister of Health of Namibia, emphasized the need for a change in the gender norms of the country and an end to tolerance for GBV. “Let us make the invisible visible, and give a voice to the voiceless.”

According to WHO, one third of Namibian women have experienced or will experience intimate partner violence during their life. Nine out of ten victims of domestic violence are women and 33% of young women who were sexually active before the age of 15 report that their first experience was forced.

In his address to the nation on 21 February, the President of Namibia, Hifikepunye Pohamba, highlighted concrete measures to be taken by the government to reduce the alarming increase of violence against women. These included amending constitutional acts to tighten the requirements for bail and denying parole and giving longer prison sentences to perpetrators of GBV.

President Pohamba also declared 6 March as the national day of prayer for action against GBV in Namibia. “The lives of too many women and girls have been destroyed or disrupted,” said President Pohamba. “Gender-based violence, in all its manifestations, should not be tolerated in Namibia. Let us join hands, to make our country safer, for all, including our women and girls.”

During the Orange Day event, Father Richard Bauer emphasized the importance of involving faith communities in the fight against GBV. “Faith leaders can be crucial allies if they are empowered to intervene, prevent and heal. It’s an incredible amount of work, but can become a reality, if we all work together and acknowledge our mutual strengths,” he added.

An AIDS-Free Generation

An AIDS-Free Generation

The Huffington Post

01/04/2014

Rhonda I. Zygocki

Executive Vice President, Policy and Planning, Chevron Corporation

Unoma, a 26-year-old farm worker in Bayelsa state, Nigeria, recently had her third child. Her previous two children were born without prenatal care and her last was delivered in unsafe conditions on a farm at the hands of other farmworkers like herself — a common occurrence for many women across sub-Saharan Africa. But her experience with this child was different: For the first time, Unoma knew she can and should be tested for HIV/AIDS, and, if necessary, how to prevent transmission of the disease to her child. Thanks to a partnership between Chevron and the international NGO Pact, Unoma had been encouraged to visit a primary health clinic. After being tested, Unoma received news that she and her youngest child are HIV-free. Today, we are pleased to announce that this successful partnership we call PROMOT is expanding to reach thousands more like Unoma.

Unfortunately, most women in Bayelsa state are without this kind of care. Women remain disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS; in sub-Saharan Africa, women constitute 60 percent of people living with AIDS and social norms prevent them from getting the care and knowledge they need. As a result, they unknowingly pass the virus to their children in the womb, at birth or through breastfeeding. In Nigeria, nearly 70,000 children are born with HIV per year. This total represents close to 20 percent of children born with HIV around the world each year and the largest number of new HIV infections among children — all in just one country. Baylesa state, where Unoma lives, has the third-highest HIV prevalence rate in Nigeria and more than double the prevalence of HIV compared with Nigeria as a whole. And despite increased funding and program support in Nigeria in the past several years, the reduction in new HIV infections in children has lagged, with only a seven percent decline from 2009-2012.

These statistics are sobering. But ending HIV transmission from mother to child remains one of the most achievable ways to realize an AIDS-free generation — with the potential to bring about an end to new infections, keep mothers alive, improve the health of women around the globe and eventually end the epidemic. As a global community, we will not reach elimination of mother-to-child transmission without significantly accelerating the rate of reduction in new HIV infections among children — especially in Nigeria.

The Pact-Chevron partnership and PROMOT project demonstrates one way we can accelerate the solution. The partnership contributes to the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV by supporting community-based organizations in implementing prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services in Bayelsa state. Locally-trained health workers and community organizations conduct village meetings and home visits, bringing appropriate education and assistance to those who need it. Pact works to garner government support and build community-based organizations’ capacity to carry on work in PMTCT beyond the life of the project, ensuring sustainability. In addition, Pact and Chevron have leveraged technology in our effort to educate, creating a mobile application that provides information, guidance and medication reminders for patients.

Based on Pact’s initial baseline survey, roughly half of the people in Bayelsa do not know there are ways women with HIV can prevent transmitting the virus to their child and more than half have never had an HIV test. Our goal is to raise the number of pregnant women in Bayelsa who are tested for HIV to 50 percent (currently 35 percent) and to increase the percentage of HIV-exposed infants who are tested to 60 percent. In its first year, the project helped test 7,382 pregnant women for HIV — 20 percent more women than had been tested the previous year — and trained 148 community health workers. This progress and these successes are why Chevron is helping to expand PROMOT throughout all of Bayelsa with an additional $1.7 million with commitment. This additional commitment raises the company’s five-year investment for the PROMOT Project to $5.3 million.

We have seen the power of this partnership and know that when businesses, nonprofits and governments work together they can truly have an impact on their communities. Through our partnership, Pact and Chevron have learned how to leverage talent, expertise and best practices from all sides to develop innovative solutions. That is why we are calling on others to take up the challenge of ending mother-to-child transmission by 2015, making a difference in women’s lives around the world. Join us in realizing an AIDS-free generation — a world where women are unburdened by HIV/AIDS and the threat of passing it on to their children. Together we can ensure that women like Unoma get the education and support they need to know their status and make informed decisions.

Visita Ecuador director del programa ONUSida para América Latina

Visita Ecuador director del programa ONUSida para América Latina

Prensa Latina, Cuba

02/04/2014

Quito, 2 mar (PL) El director del Programa Conjunto de Naciones Unidas sobre VIH Sida para América Latina (ONUSida), César Antonio Núñez, realiza hoy una visita de cuatro días a esta nación suramericana para reunirse con funcionarios del gobierno y comunidad internacional.

Esta misión es una oportunidad para reafirmar el compromiso de apoyo de ONUSida a la respuesta nacional para garantizar que las metas acordadas en la Declaración sobre VIH puedan ser alcanzadas para el 2015, expresó Núñez.

 Según medios locales, el directivo participará este miércoles en la Reunión Regional para el Nuevo Modelo de Financiamiento del Fondo Mundial de lucha contra el SIDA, la Tuberculosis y la Malaria en esta capital.

 Asimismo, sostendrá un encuentro con la ministra ecuatoriana de Salud, Carina Vance, el coordinador residente de Naciones Unidas, Diego Zorrilla, representantes de organizaciones de la ONU en Ecuador y personas afectadas por el VIH.

 Durante esas reuniones abordará, entre otros temas, el fortalecimiento de servicios de prevención y tratamientos relacionados contra ese flagelo con enfoques en las poblaciones claves y los jóvenes, además de la sostenibilidad de respuesta a la epidemia.

 El funcionario dialogará también con el presidente de la Federación Ecuatoriana de Futbol, Luís Chiriboga, con el objetivo de presentar la campaña mundial de ONUSida Protege la meta, para promover con esa disciplina la prevención de la letal enfermedad.

Gambia: ‘Protect the Goal Campaign’ Launched

Gambia: ‘Protect the Goal Campaign’ Launched

The Point, Gambia

28/03/2014

Story also covered by Daily Observer, Gambia

By Adama K. Jallow

‘Protect the Goal Campaign’, which focuses on the fights against HIV/AIDS through sports was Wednesday launched in The Gambia.

The Campaign goes with the theme “zero new HIV/AIDS infections, zero no discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.”

The launching ceremony was held at the Alliance Franco office by members of the Pan-African Youth Leadership Network group, also known as ROJALNU.

The issues put on the desk call for more positive attitudinal change towards prevention of AIDS, funded by the UNFPA and attended by delegates of the association at the recent summit of the network held in Dakar, Senegal.

The association also intends to engage the Gambia Football Federation (GFF) and the National Sports Council in the fight against AIDS through sports.

ROJALNU country coordinator Lamin Marong said the vision of the group is to build a true African youth body for the transformation of the continent with key stakeholders to achieve the common goal.

He added that the campaign focus on HIV infections through the three zeros, by concentrating on “Protect the Goal Campaign.”

AIDS remaining a global catastrophe is responsible for over 20 million deaths globally, tens of millions of children left orphaned and some 33 million people living with HIV, he said, adding that it continues to be a living cause of death globally and a primary cause of death in Africa.

Achieving AIDS-free generation, Marong stated, needs to do more with reaching the hardest hit communities, while calling on people to go for a VCT test.

GFF Technical Director, Ebrima Manneh, said as a federation which represents the world football governing body FIFA on the local front, the GFF has given significance and relevance to the launching of ‘Protect the goal campaign’.

He said they would ensure that all the people eligible for life-saving treatment access the system that provides resources.

He promised that with the encouragement of local representatives, they would use football to educate young people about HIV/AIDS in staging promotional events in collaboration with the GFF to provide young people with a safe space to learn about HIV prevention, to mobilize the worlds of sport and culture to strengthen the AIDS response and accelerate progress in HIV prevention, particularly among young people.

Campaña “Protege la Meta”

Campaña “Protege la Meta”

 

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Campaña “Protege la Meta”

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