Gestos takes part at the 54th CSW

March 3, 2010

Between March 1st and 12th, 2010, the 54th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will be held at the United Nations in New York. The event will undertake a fifteen-year review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, besides the outcomes of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly.   The objective is to share experiences and good practices, with a view to overcoming remaining obstacles and new challenges, including those related to the Millennium Development Goals.

Thecoordinator of Gestos, Alessandra Nilo, is in New York as a member of the Brazilian’s government delegation. The activist, among other civil society leaders, will participate in a parallel session about “The Challenges of HIV/AIDS from Beijing to 2010, and will also be part of an interactive dialogue with Government representatives and gender and AIDS experts, on how to dramatically improve national responses to AIDS for women and girls at national and community levels.

This panel, looking beyond the UNGASS Declaration to AIDS towards the Millennium Development Goals and the Beijing Declaration, will explore the linkages between these commitments and highlight what will be required to effectively address the structural issues and drivers of the epidemic in order to deliver on UNGASS and MDGs 3, 4, 5 and 6. The activity is organized by The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS (GCWA).

Agenda  Highlights

March 4th –   Strategies from the South

The Challenges of HIV/AIDS from Beijing to 2010 (FEIM/IAWC, ICW, APNSW and Gestos)

March 5th – Meeting Accountabilities to Women and Girls in the context of AIDS: What will it take to reach commitments to Beijing Universal Access, UNGASS and MDGs (Global Coalition on Women and AIDS)

March 7th – Is Violence Against Women on the HIV Funding Agenda – Yet? Panel organized by the “Women WON’T wait. End HIV and Violence against Women. NOW.” campaign


Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights in Indonesia: Fulfilling citizen need and rights

March 3, 2010

By Aditya Wardhana

Beneficiary satisfaction of health services related AIDS, include SRH services, is believed to be one of the success factors of AIDS response coverage both in the prevention and Care, Support and Treatment. This satisfaction can be measured from the side of the service availability, accessibility, affordability, sustainability and service that humanizes without stigma and discrimination. Barriers against these five will lead to coverage of the program will not achieve the expected results. Condition of Indonesia, which is very broad and has a diverse background, requires a specific approach that can be obtained by using the perspective of civil society as consumers of health services.

Currently research which been undertaken by Indonesian UNGASS- AIDS Forum had meddle finalization phase. With data from six provinces, it is showing us that the government had done much improvement even though there were need to maximize effort to fulfill citizen needs and rights.

Our analysis told us that SRH services availability and accessibility was still low since it is only could be found on big cities. Affordability of these services was various because we should considering that more than 32 million of Indonesia citizen was life below poverty line. Based on research findings, much sustainability of SRH services still depend on donor support and there still many policy barriers, which could estrange key affected population rights to obtain the services.

The early conclusions were; with more than 200 million people, whom spread on more than 17.000 islands, the government must increase national budgeting in overcoming problems of AIDS and build centers of SRH services in remote areas. Public policy should build based on citizen rights. Donors are expected to run the program by strengthening the structure of government-owned health services that already exist. Civil society should play a role to ensure that SRH services could be better.

UNGASS- AIDS Forum Peru progresses on the discussion with the trans

March 3, 2010

The III Forum UNGASS-AIDS-SSR Peru, held last December in Lima, was an important moment to mobilize the debate on the UNGASS goals regarding the sexual and reproductive rights in this country. Key actors of civil society such as women living with HIV, trans and sex workers from about ten national organizations have actively participated in the event.

On January 14, a Multisector Technical Meeting, organized by UNAIDS, Via Libre and the Ministry of Health, was held to socialize the progress of the report on women and female trans and also to introduce the team responsible to develop the country’s official report.

The main findings in the report were:

• Difficulties of information and analysis due to the existence of a traditional public health approach focused on the response to the damage rather than to health promotion

• Limited sexual health concerns

• Normative and pragmatic resistance to serve and make visible the most vulnerable populations: adolescents, adolescents victim of sexual exploration and trans populations

• Constraints to address the structural conditions of health and disease processes (social determinants): education, working and gender inequality

• Limitations to intervene in: conditions of stigma and discrimination related to     sexual diversity and the construction of alternative femininity; conditions of  discrimination and censorship related to teenage sexual activity.

Next actions:

– Finish a fact sheet with all the basic concepts related to UNGASS and with a description of this process in Peru, to be distributed to all leaders of community and institutions working in the area of HIV/AIDS.

– In March, there will be a workshop in which the final results of the report on women and female trans will be presented.

Final agreements for Argentina’s Country Report

March 3, 2010

In Argentina it was agreed as a working methodology for preparing the 2010 Report of Monitoring the Declaration of Commitment on HIV / AIDS, that part A would be answered by the government and part B by civil society organizations and UN agencies.

On February  25, after several days of hard work, consensus was reached on the final version of National Composite Policy Index (NCPI) Part B, which gives an overview of the epidemic in the country.

Nine of the thirteen organizations that participated in the forum integrated the working group for the preparation of the NCPI Part B, a fact that was crucial in order to agree to send the Monitoring UNGASS Goals on Sexual and Reproductive Health report as an annex, which was unanimously endorsed by all organizations.

Beyond its incorporation as an annex, the Forum’s vision was reflected in the UNGASS report answers that reflect the government’s unfulfilled commitments. These include the failure to incorporate, as priorities of the political agenda, the response to HIV/AIDS and non-reproductive aspects of sexual health; and the existence of a fragmented health program perspective. This gap is reflected in the lack of integration, articulation and coordination of actions to develop programs for HIV/AIDS and sexual and reproductive health.

The meeting with the government to agree on the Country Report will be held on March 4 and the V Forum is being planned to the end of the same month.

Uganda organizes IV UNGASS-AIDS Forum

March 3, 2010

March 15th is the date chosen by Uganda team to hold the IV UNGASS-AIDS Forum, just after the government’s validation of the Country report that will happen on March 12th. The objective is to follow their comments as Uganda’s civil society has participated on the process of consultancy and preparing of the report.

SMS – Uganda is using the SMS messages as a tool of mobilization and the results have been great. As part of the UNGASS Coalition does not have easy access to the internet, the short messages are showing efficiency on the involvement of civil society in the process of discussion and sharing of information.

Ukraine holds the IV UNGASS AIDS Forum

March 3, 2010

Ukraine is one of the largest ex-soviet countries with a population of 46 million people, 440.00 of them are HIV+ and almost half the infections (190.000) are among women. In order to advocate for the improvement of services and policies regarding Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV for all women in the country, Civil Society organizations held a meeting with key stakeholders from the Government and UN agencies.

The main goals of the meeting were to present the research findings and deepen relations between civil society members from all over the country and authorities from government and UN agencies. The “IV Ukraine UNGASS-AIDS Forum on Sexual and Reproductive Health of Women and Girls” took place on February 12th 2010, at the headquarters of the All Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, in Kyiv.  With the presence of representatives from UNDP, UNFPA, Ministry of Health, UNAIDS, Ukrainian AIDS Centre and the Ukrainian National Coordination Council for the Prevention of the Spread of HIV/AIDS, among others.

The Forum was a success. The Chief of the Ukrainian AIDS Center compromised herself to include the research findings into the Country Report that the government will submit to UNAIDS, and the head of the Ukrainian National Coordination Council for the Prevention of the Spread of HIV/AIDS announced they are starting a pilot project to provide services of Family Planning services at one AIDS Centre in the West of the Country to try to tackle the difficulties of HIV+ people to access information and services regarding their sexual and reproductive health.

Among the activities undertaken by Gestos staff member during his stay in Ukraine was a visit to the services Center of the Network in Kiev with a meeting with the deputy director Lada Bulach, and a visit to American researcher Sophie Pinkham who studies the situation of HIV+ women and women who are drug users in Ukraine.