Tag Archives: Global Fund

HIV in Gaza: “I know, so I am not afraid”

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Fifty-year-old Um Mohammad, a mother of nine, has been living with HIV for 16 years in the Gaza Strip in the occupied Palestinian territory. She was nursing her baby girl when tests revealed she was HIV positive.

“We found out that I got the HIV while I was still breastfeeding my youngest. I got it from my husband,” she says. “I was scared for my baby girl, but thank God, it was not transmitted to her. I was so relieved.”

Um Mohammad spoke at a training workshop for journalists in Gaza organized by the UNDP Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People with financial support from the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund). The training aimed at reducing stigma and provided accurate messages and facts on HIV.

According to the Ministry of Health in the occupied Palestinian territory, the cumulative number of patients with HIV and AIDS since 1987 has reached 72 cases, although problems with under-reporting and HIV surveillance systems means that accurate statistics in the Arab region are difficult to come by.

This is particularly true in Gaza. Out of 29 known cases of people living with HIV recorded in the Gaza Strip as per available statistics, only eight people are still alive and currently receiving antiretroviral (ARV) treatment and support through the UNDP-managed Global Fund programme. In the occupied Palestinian territory as a whole, 21 people with advanced HIV are receiving treatment and 20 persons living with HIV are provided psychosocial support.

The programme also includes critical awareness-raising sessions and stigma reduction activities with a special focus on religious leaders, the media and legal aid professionals. More than 2,000 people in the occupied Palestinian territory have received critical HIV testing and counselling sessions, including Um Mohammad.

“Many people are not aware how of HIV is transmitted”, she explains. HIV is transmitted through unprotected sex, transfusion of contaminated blood or from the use of non-sterile injecting equipment.

“I know, so I am not afraid,” she says. “I am able to share with my children their food and utensils and I kiss them good night like every mother. I do the same with my neighbours and relatives.”

Um Mohammad’s husband died four months after he was diagnosed with AIDS and she was left to provide for her family. “I became the mother and father of my nine children,” she says. “I brought them up the best way I can.”

UNDP is the Principal Recipient for Global Fund programmes in a number of countries. In the occupied Palestinian territory, working closely with the Ministry of Health and UN agencies, the Global Fund-supported HIV-programme has significantly contributed to preventing the spread of HIV, as well as to providing treatment and care services to persons living with HIV and AIDS.

The Global Fund has committed US$11 million to the project over a five year period (2009-2013). Today, thanks to the initiative’s efforts, 22 non-governmental organizations are providing HIV and AIDS prevention, awareness and support services in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

“It is time now for our society to treat people living with HIV and AIDS like any person who has the right to live, work, learn and receive treatment when sick,” Um Mohammad says.

by Amar Bokhari, Reem Abu Shomar and Dania Darwish at the United Nations Development Programme (Link)

 All names in this article have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved

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Here I Am Campaign

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The Here I Am campaign is a global call on world leaders to save millions of lives by supporting a fully funded Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Here I Am brings the voices of people that are directly affected by AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria into dialogue about decisions that affect their lives and lives of millions of others in their countries. Through video testimonies from all over the world, campaign ambassador advocacy, online actions and on-the-ground mobilizations, the Here I Am campaign is building collective power to end three of the world’s most deadly diseases.

We believe that through appropriate levels of investments now, we have an opportunity to defeat HIV, tuberculosis and malaria within our lifetime, and to decrease costs over time if we recommit and fully fund the Global Fund. This requires a US$15 billion investment and ongoing resource mobilisation aimed at engaging new donors and innovative financing mechanisms.

We call on all donors and implementing countries:

  • Recommit to the goals of increased strategic investments and scaling up of treatment, prevention, care and support programmes for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
  • Fully fund the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria by collectively committing at least US$15 billion in this replenishment year in new contributions for 2014-2016.
  • Recommit to increased domestic investments targets for health and increased total health expenditure per capita in all countries affected by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

In 2012 nearly 2000 people signed the first petition that asked donors to increase their 2013 contributions and to fully replenish the Global Fund.

As we get closer to the pledging conference late this year, this is a crucial moment to show donors how much we need the Global Fund and to persuade them to make a strong commitment to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

This new call to action will be presented directly to the decision-makers at the Global Fund’s 30th board meeting in November.

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE PETITION

Please sign and help us present a strong statement at the meeting by sharing this petition with your networks and on social media.

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£1,000,000,000 From the UK to fight HIV, TB & Malaria!

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The UK Government has just announced it is committing £1 billion to the 2013-2015 replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and STOPAIDS is calling on its members and supporters to register their support for this decision.

Speaking on behalf of STOPAIDS, Diarmaid McDonald:

“STOPAIDS and our members have been working for many years to secure this commitment which we see as an incredible statement of ambition from the UK Government, and one which the world will celebrate. The UK’s leadership in international development gives the nation the opportunity to achieve some truly historic things, and this commitment to the Global Fund is just that – historic.”

Please tweet your support using the following text:

Incredible pledge of £1bn from @DFID_UK to @globalfundnews. UK wants us to #bethegeneration to control #AIDS – the world must follow! 

The pledge of £1bn over the next three years equates to a doubling of the UK contribution to the Global Fund, a collaboration between northern and southern governments, the private sector, NGOs and people affected by the three diseases, which has saved nearly 9 million lives in a decade. However the £1bn pledge will only be delivered in full if the Global Fund achieves its overall replenishment target of $15bn.

The commitment from the UK throws down the gauntlet to other donor countries, like Germany, Australia and Japan to dramatically increase their contributions so the Global Fund can secure the $15bn it says could tip the balance in the three epidemics.

The ambition of the UK commitment matches that shown by the Obama administration, which has pledged $1.65bn for 2014 alone. If the total generated is less than $15bn the UK says it will give 10% of the total number pledged.

The UK’s pledge of £1 billion over three years will

  • lifesaving antiretroviral therapy for 750,000 people living with HIV
  • 32 million more insecticide-treated nets to prevent the transmission of malaria
  • TB treatment for over a million more people

Diarmaid McDonald continues:

“This pledge puts us on the path to securing the investment we need to finally bringing AIDS under control. It will help save the lives of millions including women and girls, and with time will pay for itself through the release of billions of pounds in increased economic productivity and averted costs.

“By building on the successes we’ve had to date, scaling up the latest, smartest interventions, we have an opportunity to tip the balance in the AIDS, TB and malaria epidemics.  But that opportunity won’t last forever – delay and the numbers affected will creep up and the ambition to control the epidemics will be put back out of reach. The UK is doing its bit to ensure this opportunity is grasped – the rest of the world must follow.”

A moment to cherish for all of you who have been working so hard to secure this commitment. Please make a noise!

via StopAIDS.org.uk

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