Brazil – Working Group UNGASS-AIDS The Country Report

October 23, 2009

On October 6th, the National Department of STD, AIDS and Viral Hepatitis of Brazil hold the second meeting of the Working Group UNGASS-AIDS 2010. Four representatives of civil society (CS), two of international organisms, as well as representatives of many areas of the National Department of STD, AIDS and Viral Hepatitis and of the Polcicy Makers Comission discussed about the progresses and challenges to collect data in Brazil, once the deadline to have all the information systematized is November 3rd.

The consolidation of the Part B of the Joint National Policies Indicator is under civil society responsibility. The Forum UNGASS-AIDS-SSH Brazil’s representative, Jair Brandão, reported that 26 questionnaires were turned in. The government stated that only two Part A reports were handed in by the policy makers (São Paulo and Tocantins).

On October 24th and 25th , Jair Brandão, José Carlos Veloso (Forum UNGASS-AIDS-SSR Brazil) Jaime and Nélio (civil society’s representatives on the Nation Comission of AIDS) will gather in São Paulo to systematize all data collected with the civil society.

The next meeting, scheduled to November 12th, in Rio de Janeiro, will evaluate the previous version of the Country Report.

Further information: jair.brandao@gestos.org, jcveloso@terra.com.br


Women build plan of political incidence for the northeast states of Brazil

October 23, 2009

“Living, and not to be ashamed of being happy, to sing, to sing and to sing the beauty of being an eternal learner.”

29 women singing together the song What is it, by Gozanguinha – one of the greatest Brazilian composers and singers. That was the way, after building a plan of political incidence for each state of the northeast of Brazil, the Workshop on Sexual and Reproductive Rights , Violence and AIDS for Seropositve Women from the Region came to the end. The event, designed and coordinated by Gestos, took place in Recife, between September 23rd and 27th.

Intensive discussions and learning were held in four days, contributing for the political strengthening of seropositive women leaderships to act on instances of social control. They also elaborated a profile of their states concerning the progresses and the challenges of public policies to people living with HIV/AIDS, mainly women.  The moment was very important for the integration between states and for exchanging experiences on public policies on social control.

WORKSHOPS – During the workshops on leadership, violence against women, feminism, advocacy, the seropositve women were able to live and understand the sense of monitoring the UNGASS-AIDS goals, through reflections and the share of learned lessons. News from all over the world was used in the national and international policies workshop, aiming to evaluate the happenings throughout the world, relate them to the epidemic fight and the vulnerability to the HIV/AIDS, as well as to reinforce the link between international agreements and local policies.

The relation between AIDS, poverty and illiteracy was one of the aspects that called the participants attention. They reinforced the importance to intensify the works on prevention in their states, through the awareness of politicians and laws makers. The analysis, in groups, of the UNGASS-AIDS goals has also brought up common problems of all states: lack of funding for prevention programmes, difficulties faced by HIV+ pregnant women – stories of not getting tests results in time, not having the appropriate counseling including information on delivery and lactation – the need of specific researches about the use of  antretroviral therapies and the sides effects on women bodies and the AIDS socio-economic impact on their lives, still permeated with prejudice and discrimination. Women form all states reported problems on the Plan to Combat the Feminization of AIDS and other STD implantation.

As main product of the workshop, the political incidence plan of each state, consolidated on the last day, aims to create working strategies to fight some of these problems. Each state pointed out their main issues and listed actions and possible partnerships. The idea is that women can implement the plan on an articulated and strategic way. Another meeting will happen in the next six months to evaluate the actions and make new plans.


Forum UNGASS-AIDS-SRR Maranhão threatened

October 23, 2009

The IV Forum UNGASS-AIDS-SSH Maranhão, a state in the northeast of Brazil, scheduled to be hold on October 23rd and 24th, is again threatened. That’s the second attempt to carry on with the event this year, which hasn’t still happened due to the lack of local government support. There are no resources for expanses like feeding, accommodation and bus tickets for 12 participants from the state’s countryside.


Civil society and government closer at the III Forum UNGASS-AIDS-SSR Peru

October 23, 2009

Between September 30th and October1st, 72 people, among government and civil society, were present at the III Forum UNGASS-AIDS-SSH Peru. They gathered in Lima to discuss the data of the communitarian research on sexual and reproductive health, sexual education and violence against women, the strengthening of the advocacy network and the lobby south-to-south for the monitoring of women sexual and reproductive rights public policies and HIV/AIDS. Moreover, the meeting was an opportunity to bring government and civil society closer to the UNGASS-AIDS goals monitoring.

The forum had great participation of sexual workers, lesbians, women living with HIV, professionals who work with children, professors, adolescents with HIV, transgenders and the feminist movement, what has strengthened  the Forum UNGASS-AIDS-SSH as an instance of public policies monitoring.

One of this Forum’s achievements, according to the Gestos representative in the meeting, Sérgio Costa, was the commitment assumed by the Peruvian government to include civil society on the elaboration of the Country Report – as the last one, written in 2008, was sent independently as Shadow Report. This time, there will be a calling to elect a representative from the community to integrate the team responsible for the report elaboration. “In the case of  Peru, this is a mark, as last year civil society was left out this process and now the consolidation of this alliance between government and society seems more tangible,” complemented.

The forum was coordinated by the Via Livre Association in collaboration with Gestos and it’s part of the project Monitoring the UNGASS-AIDS Goals on Sexual and Reproductive Health, supported by the Ford Foundation in 16 countries.


II Fórum UNGASS north gathers representatives of all states of the region

October 23, 2009

Palmas, the capital of Tocantins, a state in the north of Brazil, was chosen to hold the II Forum UNGASS-AIDS-SSH North. With a special welcome, under a heat of 40°C, the Ipê Amarelo Group of Awareness and Fight for Free Sexual Orientation (GIAMA) hosted about 40 participants committed to the monitoring of the UNGASS-AIDS goals in their states.

The Plan to Combat the Feminization of AIDS and other STD, the Health and Prevention in Schools Program and the National Plan to Fight the AIDS Epidemic among Gays, Men who have sex with other Men (MSM) and Transvestites were the three instruments used to monitor the actions. Each state brought information about the progresses and the setbacks of those programmes. In many states, for example, the Health and Prevention in Schools Program hasn’t been implemented. Government’s representatives also presented their information and discussed the best way to work together with civil society.

The representative of the National Department of AIDS, STD and Viral Hepatitis, Ângela Pinto, after presenting the UNGASS-AIDS history and its evolution, mainly in Brazil, reinforced the government’s desire to work together with civil society in the elaboration of the Country Report. She also said that the monitoring of these goals is done by both government and civil society and that is the reason why it’s important to have the point of view of the two segments, including the issues in disagreement.

José Carlos Veloso, from the Supporting Group to AIDS Prevention/SãoPaulo, also presented the trajectory of the monitoring – by civil society – of the UNGASS goals. Currently, besides the B Appendix, which is part of the official document, civil society will complete the information on public policies through two questionnaires developed by Gestos. The aim of this instrument is bring out the reality of local policies concerning sexual and reproductive health, sexual education and violence against women.


Fórum UNGASS-AIDS-SSR Argentina progresses in dialoguing with the government

October 23, 2009

October 1st and 2nd, in Argentina, were days marked by the cold of 10° and by the III Forum UGASS-AIDS-SSR of the country. About 15 organizations were present at the in Beunos Aires, representing women, youngsters, gays and trans – from eight provinces of the country – in order to discuss the monitoring of the UNGASS-AIDS goals related to sexual and reproductive health.

The presentation of the project, supported by the Ford Foundation, opened the Forum’s first day. Afterwards, it was presented a political analysis about the participation of the civil society on the monitoring of the UNGASS-AIDS goals during the elaboration of Argentina’s Country Report (2007/2008) and evaluated what can be improved for the 2010 report.

The 13 UNGASS-AIDS goals related to sexual and reproductive health were discussed in groups, what have supported the national AIDS policy evaluation. Finally, it was built a plan of action to monitor the civil society and shared responsibilities in order to execute the research on sexual and reproductive rights. The need of integration between .AIDS and the Sexual and Reproductive Health programmes was considered one of Argentina’s greatest challenges.

Meetings with the government and UNAIDS- Other two important moments during the Forum were the meetings between the coordinators of the Forum UNGASS-AIDS-SSH – FEIM, Intillas and Gestos – and the coordination of the National Program of AIDS of Argentina, at the Health Ministry, and afterwards with UNAIDS. The meetings were able to reinforce the importance to include the civil society report in the Country Report, to share Brazil’s experience in monitoring the Declaration of Commitment and to strength the Forum UNAGSS-AIDS-SSH Argentina as an instance of the community political articulation.

After October 20th, the civil society will gather with the government to discuss the elaboration of the Country Report, seeking to insert their issues in the official document. The IV Forum UNGASS-AIDS-SSH Argentina is scheduled to happen between December 9th and 11th, when it will be presented the civil society report and discussed the continuity of the planned actions to 2010.


Gestos invited by UNAIDS to participate in the Regional Workshop on UNGASS-AIDS 2010

October 23, 2009

To consolidate the process of preparation of the country reports for UNGASS 2010, to analyze the Declaration of Commitment indicators, signed by the countries in 2001, and to know the computerized tools for the 2010 report, were the main objectives of the Regional Workshop on UNGASS-AIDS 2010. The meeting, organized by UNAIDS, gathered representatives of the civil society and governments, between September 8th and 11th, in Santiago, Chile. The Country Reports should be turned in up to March 31st, 2010.

During the workshop – which was more practical than theoretical – Gestos had the opportunity to present the experience of  the project Monitoring of UNGASS-AIDS goals on Sexual and Reproductive Health – supported by the Ford Foundation, in 16 countries – as an UNAIDS guest. According to the activist Jair Brandão, who was representing the institution at the event, “the participation of Gestos was very nice, because the process of monitoring the UNGASS-AIDS goals by the civil society is still one of the best catalyzers to maintain and progress the monitoring and the evaluation at a national level.”

At the meeting, there were representatives of the AIDS Programmes of 17 countries of Latin and Central America, UNAIDS, PNUD, UNICEF and of the civil society, invited by UNAIDS and by the countries governments, as Gestos (Brazil), LACASSO (Argentina), Allianza (Argentina) e ASOSIDA (Chile).