Wrapping Up ICAAP11 (November 22, 2013, Bangkok, Thailand)

Today concludes the 11th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP 11) in Bangkok, Thailand. Alliance India is wrapping up our participation in the meeting with two sessions focused on the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) of people living with HIV (PLHIV) and a closing press conference on building the capacity of MSM and transgender organisations to partner with government to improve HIV prevention. Don’t miss this last opportunity: please join us!

Skills Building Workshop:

  • Beyond My Infection: A workshop to build capacities of PLHIV and Key Populations as advocates on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)

        Friday, November 22, 10:00am-1:00pm, Hall O, QSNCC

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Poster Discussion:

  • Cervical Cancer Awareness in Women Living with HIV: Findings from the Koshish Baseline in India

        Friday, November 22, 12:45-1:45pm, Plaza, QSNCC

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Press Conference:

  • Building capacity of MSM & TG CBOs to partner with Government HIV prevention interventions in India

        Friday, November 22, 2-3pm, Press Conference Room, QSNCC

Please download our roadmap of sessions at ICAAP that include Alliance India team members or discussions of our work. It includes a full list of our 31 posters describing our responses to a range of key priorities in India’s epidemic. Please also visit our Community Booth (#C3) to learn more about our work.

Five Priorities: Alliance India at ICAAP (November 20, 2013, Bangkok, Thailand)

India HIV/AIDS Alliance puts particular emphasis on five priority populations: men who have sex with men: transgenders & hijras; sex workers; people who inject drugs; and people living with HIV. Today at the 11th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP 11) in Bangkok, Thailand, we have five sessions that showcase some of our work with key populations. If you are attending, please join us.

Skills Building Workshops:

Me and My Partner’ – A Community-Based Skill Building Training on Positive Prevention for Key Populations

Nov. 20, 1:15-4:15pm, Hall P

Workshop1Equal Access/Equal Rights: Empowering Transgender Communities through Advocacy, Mobilization, and Capacity Building under the Pehchan Program

Nov. 20, 4:15-7:15 pm, Hall K

Workshop2Oral Presentations:

  • Reaching the Hard-to-Reach: Engagement & Facilitation as Research Strategies with Sexual Minorities: Nov. 20, 3:45-5:15pm, Hall H
  • Building Capacity of MSM & TG CBOs to Partner with Government HIV Prevention Interventions in India: Nov. 20, 3:45-5:15pm, Hall H

Press Conference:

  • Engagement & Facilitation as Research Strategies with Sexual Minorities: Nov. 20, 2-3pm, Press Conference Room

Please download our roadmap of sessions at ICAAP that include Alliance India team members or discussions of our work. It includes a full list of our 31 posters describing our responses to a range of key priorities in India’s epidemic. Please also visit our Community Booth (#C3) to learn more about our work.

“11 for ICAAP 11”: A Selection of Alliance India Posters at ICAAP (November 17-22, 2013, Bangkok, Thailand)

Alliance India is presenting a total of 31 posters at the 11th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP 11) in Bangkok, Thailand, 17-22 November 2013. To mark the 11th ICAAP, below are a selection of 11 of our posters displayed in Bangkok that detail our work supporting community-based programming for people living with HIV (PLHIV), men who have sex with men (MSM), transgenders, hijras, sex workers and people who inject drugs (PWID), all key priorities to addressing India’s complex epidemic.

Paving the Pathway: PLHIV community consultations enhance national care and support programme in India

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Factors Influencing SRH Service Uptake by PLHIV: Findings from the Koshish baseline study in India  

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An Emergent Crisis: Addressing the Hepatitis C Epidemic in People Who Inject Drugs (PWID) in India

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By the Community, For the Community: Involving PWID in Assessment of Drug-using Patterns Assessments

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Identifying Access Barriers for Transgenders Seeking Gender Transition Services in India

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Community-led Advocacy to Address SRH Needs of PLHIV: Experience from the Koshish programme in India

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Service without a Smile: Pehchan study of the friendliness of HIV services to sexual minorities in India

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Positive Rights and Sexual Health: A review of SRH laws and policies for PLHIV in India

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Tracking Organisational Development of Sexual Minority CBOs in India Using Pehchan’s ‘CBO CyclePoster_Page_10

Power in Our Hands: Increasing involvement by sexual minorities in HIV programme oversight in India 

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Promoting Entrepreneurship among Sex Workers to Reduce HIV Vulnerability in Andhra Pradesh

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Alliance India at ICAAP 11 (November 17-22, 2013, Bangkok, Thailand)

Blog2India HIV/AIDS Alliance is excited to be part of ICAAP 11. You are warmly invited to attend our sessions and learn more about our work in India to improve the AIDS response for communities most affected by the epidemic, including MSM, transgenders and hijras; female sex workers; people who inject drugs, and PLHV from all demographics.

Alliance India staff, board members and representatives from our partner organisations will participate in a range of sessions including pre-conference meetings, skills building workshops, oral presentations, poster exhibits and press conferences.

Please download our roadmap of sessions at ICAAP that include Alliance India team members or discussions of our work. It includes a full list of our 31 posters describing our responses to a range of key priorities in India’s epidemic. Please also visit our Community Booth (#C3) to learn more about our work.

The conference takes place at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre (QSNCC) from November 17-22 in Bangkok, Thailand.

APCOM Pre-Conference on MSM and Transgender Issues in Asia and the Pacific

– FOREPLAY: The Final Push Toward the Three Zeroes: Nov. 17, 8.30am–5.30pm, QSNCC

Community Forum

 – Nov. 18, 8.30am–5.00pm, QSNCC

Community Booth & Marketplace

 – Alliance India Community Booth (#C3): Nov. 19: 4-7pm; Nov. 20-21: 9 am-9pm; Nov. 22: 9am-3pm. Zone CG

Oral Presentations

– Reaching the Hard-to-Reach: Engagement & Facilitation as Research Strategies with Sexual Minorities: Nov. 20, 3:45-5:15pm, Hall H

– Building Capacity of MSM & TG CBOs to Partner with Government HIV Prevention Interventions in India: Nov. 20, 3:45-5:15pm, Hall H

Poster Discussion

 – Cervical Cancer Awareness in Women Living with HIV: Findings from the Koshish Baseline in India: Nov. 22, 12:45-1:45pm, Plaza

Skills Building Workshops

– Me and My Partner’ – A Community-Based Skill Building Training on Positive Prevention for Key Populations: Nov. 20, 1:15-4:15pm, Hall P

– Equal Access/Equal Rights: Empowering transgender communities through advocacy, mobilization, and capacity building under the Pehchan program: Nov. 20, 4:15-7:15 pm, Hall K

– Strengthening Community Systems for MSM, Transgender and Hijra Populations in India: The Pehchan Training Curriculum in Action: Nov. 21, 4:15-7:15pm, Hall O

– Beyond My Infection: A workshop to build capacities of PLHIV and Key Populations as advocates on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR): Nov. 22, 10am-1pm, Hall O

 Press Conferences

 – Engagement & Facilitation as Research Strategies with Sexual Minorities: Nov. 20, 2-3pm, Press Conference Room

– Building capacity of MSM & TG CBOs to partner with Government HIV prevention interventions in India: Nov. 22, 2-3pm, Press Conference Room

We’ll update Facebook, Twitter and our blog every day with details of our activities, including documents to view online or download. We look forward to connecting with you at ICAAP in Bangkok!

If you have any questions, please contact us at info@allianceindia.org. For more information, please visit:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indiahivaidsalliance

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AllianceinIndia

Blog: https://indiahivaidsalliance.wordpress.com/

Website: http://www.allianceindia.org/

Alliance India at IAS 2013 Kuala Lumpur

The 7th Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention is taking place this week in Kuala Lumpur. India HIV/AIDS Alliance is participating in this year’s meeting, including presenting four posters on our work. Congratulations to our staff for this great achievement.

Understanding Barriers Faced by Transgender and Hijra Communities in India to Accessing Gender Reassignment Services

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Not a ‘Minor’ Issue: Does HIV Prevention Programming Address the Vulnerabilities of Adolescent MSM and Transgenders under 18 Years?

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Mixing Sex and Drugs: Socio-demographic Factors Associated with Sexual Risk Behaviour among PWID

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Re-tooling Data Quality:  Implementation of an automated validation tool to improve data quality in large-scale HIV interventions for female sex workers under Avahan programme in Andhra Pradesh, India

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Three Tiers of Oversight: Accountability, Ownership & Programme Governance under Pehchan

Members of the hijra community in Chennai meet regularly to share information, experiences and discuss issues that are important to them. (Photo by Prashant Panjiar for India HIV/AIDS Alliance)

Members of the hijra community in Chennai meet regularly to share information, experiences and discuss issues that are important to them. (Photo by Prashant Panjiar for India HIV/AIDS Alliance)

In order to ensure transparent and ethical programme governance, the Pehchan team has established a three-tier system guided by stakeholders across a wide-ranging spectrum, comprising representation from the MSM, transgender and hijra (MTH) communities, people living with HIV/AIDS, state and national governments, other NGOs and bi- and multi-lateral organisations. Involving a range of stakeholders inculcates ownership, essential to programme sustainability after the funding ends.

At the regional level, Pehchan’s beneficiary voices are captured through Community Advisory Boards (CABs), which have been developed in six regions in India. Each CAB enables the creation of linkages between implementing partners, state governments, and the communities that the programme serves. The purpose of these CAB is to guide programme direction, resolve conflicts as they arise, and ensure the programme runs ethically while remainimg attuned to real community needs.

At the state level, State Oversight Committees (SOCs), located in each of the 17 Pehchan implementation states, serve as the interface between Pehchan and the State AIDS Control Societies (SACS). This committee provides oversight and technical guidance and consists of members from the SACS, Pehchan’s implementing partners, and Pehchan’s Community Based Organisations (CBOs).

At the national level, the Programme Advisory Body (PAB), which is chaired by the National AIDS Control Organisation with membership from the World Bank, UNDP, DFID, UNAIDS, and the Pehchan consortium, ensures smooth, technically-sound programme implementation in coordination with the priorities of the National AIDS Control Programme. Through this holistic three-tier governance system, Pehchan continues to ensure accountability to its key stakeholders and increases programme ownership.

Read more about Pehchan here

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With support from the Global Fund, Pehchan builds the capacity of 200 community-based organisations (CBOs) for men who have sex with men (MSM), transgenders and hijras in 17 states in India to be more effective partners in the government’s HIV prevention programme. By supporting the development of strong CBOs, Pehchan will address some of the capacity gaps that have often prevented CBOs from receiving government funding for much-needed HIV programming. Named Pehchan which in Hindi means ‘identity’, ‘recognition’ or ‘acknowledgement,’ this programme is implemented by India HIV/AIDS Alliance in consortium with Humsafar Trust, SAATHII, Sangama, and SIAAP and will reach 453,750 MSM, transgenders and hijras by 2015. It is the Global Fund’s largest single-country grant to date focused on the HIV response for vulnerable sexual minorities.

World TB Day 2013: Reducing tuberculosis burden through verbal screening of most-at-risk populations in Andhra Pradesh, India

Under the verbal TB screening programme, peer educators and outreach workers identify clients with TB symptoms during couselling sessions and refer suspected cases for testing. (Photo by Prashant Panjiar for India HIV/AIDS Alliance)

Under the verbal TB screening programme, peer educators and outreach workers identify clients with TB symptoms during couselling sessions and refer suspected cases for testing. (Photo by Prashant Panjiar for India HIV/AIDS Alliance)

India’s tuberculosis (TB) burden accounts for one-fifth of the global cases of the disease. In 2011, there were an estimated 3.1 million Indians affected by active TB. The problem is further compounded by HIV/AIDS, which is driving the resurgence of TB not only globally but also in India. HIV increases TB risk approximately seven-fold. Of the estimated 1.42 million TB deaths across the world, 430,000 die due to HIV/TB co-infection.

Typically, the integration of TB interventions into HIV services has focused on generalised HIV epidemics, with less emphasis on key populations, including sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM), and people who use drugs. Yet the engagement and participation of key populations can be a vital strategy to address HIV/TB co-infection and improve access to diagnostic and treatment services toward the goal of achieving zero TB deaths.

Recognising the vulnerability of key populations and the difficulties they face in accessing TB services, India HIV/AIDS Alliance under the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Avahan India AIDS Initiative has implemented a verbal TB screening programme in Andhra Pradesh since 2007. Under the screening programme, peer educators at health clinics and outreach workers in the field identify TB symptoms in key population clients and refer suspected cases for sputum testing.

Take the case of Satyanandam, a member of the local MSM community. During a regular medical check-up at one of Alliance India’s Mythri clinics, he was found through verbal screening to be suffering from symptoms of TB: cough and night sweats. He was referred to a designated microscopic centre for sputum testing. An outreach worker accompanied him to the facility where he was found positive for TB.

Satyanandam was then supported by a local non-profit organisation (NGO) to ensure he successfully completed treatment. An outreach worker kept tabs on his medicine intake and advised him to stop smoking and practice good cough etiquette. After six months of treatment, Satyanandam was cured of TB. “Thanks to the Mythri clinic, the outreach workers, and NGO staff who cared for me during my illness. Because of their support, my family and I are healthy and happy now,” he said.

In fact, there are many Satyanandams who have been cured due to early TB detection through verbal screening. To date, 54,000 people have undergone verbal screening in Andhra Pradesh and among them, almost 2,000 each year have been referred for sputum examination. The proportion of people who accessed TB treatment increased from 83% to 94% in three years.

The intervention demonstrated that integration of TB interventions into HIV prevention services for key populations is feasible and complements the Government of India’s goals and targets under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP). Partnership with most-at-risk communities, civil society organisations, healthcare providers and government should be a key strategy to realise a world with zero deaths from TB, so that every Sathyanandam can live a long and productive life without TB.

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The author of this post, Dr. Parimi Prabhakar, is Director of Alliance India’s Regional Office in Hyderabad.
 
The Avahan India AIDS Initiative (2003-2013) is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The programme aims to reduce HIV transmission and the prevalence of STIs in vulnerable high-risk populations, notably female sex workers, MSM, and transgenders, through prevention education and services such as condom promotion, STI management, behavior change communication, community mobilization, and advocacy. Avahan works in six states, and Alliance India is a state lead partner in Andhra Pradesh.

Changing a Habit of Addiction in the Land of the Gods

Severe punishments doled out to drug offenders in Uttarakhand have motivated users to shift from heroin and brown sugar to injecting pharmaceutical cocktails. (Photo by G. Charanjit Sharma for India HIV/AIDS Alliance)

Severe punishments doled out to drug offenders in Uttarakhand have motivated users to shift from heroin and brown sugar to injecting pharmaceutical cocktails. (Photo by G. Charanjit Sharma for India HIV/AIDS Alliance)

Uttarakhand’s natural beauty has captivated tourists and residents alike for centuries. Wildlife and nature enthusiasts, pilgrims, and even those wanting an escape from city life have turned to the serenity of Uttarakhand’s lush green mountains, fresh air, and the sacred Ganges river that runs through this North Indian state, often called ‘the Land of the Gods.’

Beyond its scenic beauty, Uttarakhand is also well-known for the cannabis that naturally grows all over the state. Cannabis has traditionally been associated with the holy men of this region but recently has seen an increase in consumption by the local population and tourists. Over the years, however, drug consumption has shifted towards heroin and brown sugar. Severe punishments given to drug offenders by the government for using these substance have motivated users to shift to injecting pharmaceutical cocktails, sold not by pharmacies but by local residents who bring them from outside the state.

New options for drug use have also led to an increase in number of people who inject drugs (PWID) and growing numbers who are infected with HIV, Hepatitis C and TB from sharing of syringes. Prolonged drug use impacts individual productivity. Most PWID are unable to keep steady jobs; they have limited financial resources, little family support or no meaningful access to drug treatment facilities. Social stigma and exclusion are constant features of daily life for PWID in Uttarakhand. Marginalized, they are routinely treated with disrespect and denied access to services they need, including healthcare.

Mindful of the current state of drug use in Uttarakhand, Alliance India’s Hridaya programme is working with seven organisations to offer harm reduction services in four districts, including the holy town of Haridwar and the state capital of Dehradun. Aiming to cover all PWID in these areas over the next two years, the programme will focus on the unmet needs of this vulnerable populations and complement activities in the state under India’s National AIDS Control Programme.

In addition to providing PWID with Hepatitis C education and overdose management, Hridaya will also encourage Hepatitis C testing, work with families of PWID to strengthen community mobilization, establish legal support and crisis response teams, and offer counselling on sexual and reproductive health, along with service referrals. To improve implementation and impact, the programme will also conduct drug pattern assessments to understand the dynamics of drug use in the state to respond more effectively to the needs of PWID.

In January 2013, the Hridaya team trained 30 newly recruited staff in Uttarakhand, including project officers, outreach workers, peer educators and peer counsellors from six CBOs. In these sessions, special effort has also been made to increase capacity overall and specifically train women in these roles to respond more effectively to the needs of female PWID. Similar staff trainings were held in Hridaya’s two other focus states, Haryana and Bihar.

Hridaya’s three-day training on harm reduction uses an intensive participatory workshop model featuring various techniques such as interactive presentations, group discussions, demonstrations, and feedback. Topics covered include: an overview of Hridaya; drug basics; drug-related harms; principles of harm reduction; outreach and peer education; Targeted Intervention (TI) prevention interventions under the national programme; needle and syringe exchange; operational aspects of interventions such as demand calculation, waste management and disposal; post-exposure prophylaxis for needle stick injury; sexually-transmitted infections; safer sex; drop-in-centres; service referrals; and networking.

As a guiding principle, Hridaya affirms the essential humanity and worth of PWID. This core value informs both the programme’s goals and its implementation. Building rapport with PWID and gaining their trust are essential steps in harm reduction programming, and Hridaya’s approach is designed to support the expansion of service offerings and demonstrate the importance of harm reduction as a key strategy to address HIV in PWID communities in India.

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The author of this blog, Francis Joseph, is Programme Officer for Alliance India’s Drug Use & Harm Reduction programmes and is based in New Delhi. 

Spanning five countries (India, China, Indonesia, Kenya, and Malaysia), Community Action on Harm Reduction (CAHR) expands harm reduction services to more than 180,000 injecting drug users (IDUs), their partners and children. The programme protects and promotes the rights of these groups by fostering an enabling environment for HIV and harm reduction programming in these five countries. CAHR is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Netherlands. 

CAHR in India is called ‘Hridaya’ and is implemented by India HIV/AIDS Alliance in partnership with SASO, Sharan, and a number of community-based harm reduction organisations and networks. This programme helps build the capacity of service providers, makes harm reduction programmes more gender-responsive, improves access to services and advocates for the rights of PWIDs. In addition to providing services, Hridaya has a strong capacity building component to support advocacy, knowledge management and improved services for PWIDs.

Join us for the World AIDS Day All-India Run & Cultural Event! (Sunday, 2 December 2012 in New Delhi)

World AIDS Day 2012 All-India Run and Cultural Event
***8am-2pm (***PLEASE note EARLIER starting time!)
Sunday, 2 December 2012

New Delhi

Organized by: India HIV/AIDS Alliance

Co-sponsored by: Population Council; Citibank; UNDP; Centre for Advocacy & Research (CFAR); Delhi Frontrunners; and Blind Relief Association

RSVP: Please let us know if you’ll join us. Click here!

All-India Run: Participants will include people affected by the epidemic, their friends and families, community members, students and other stakeholders motivated to raise awareness of HIV in India, including the private sector. At least 500 participants are expected to participate in the run, and medals will be awarded to the top finishers in the men’s, women’s and transgender categories.

Members of affected communities have also been invited to speak and serve as judges for the run. Representatives from a range of stakeholders have also been invited, including NACO, UN agencies, international donors and NGOs, along with Alliance India implementing partners and beneficiary communities from all over India.

Activities will begin at 8am at Safdarjung Tomb. The run will start around 9am and will follow Lodhi Road, ending at the Blind Relief Association (aka Delhi Blind School), near the Oberoi Hotel. The Cultural Event will take place immediately following the race on the ground of Delhi Blind School and will last until 2pm. (For detailed route information, please see map below.)

Starting Line:
Safdarjang Tomb, Lodi Estate
(At the intersection of Safdarjang Road and Aurobindo Marg)

Metro Station: Jor Bagh

Finish Line:
Blind Relief Association (aka Delhi Blind School)
Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg
Lodhi Road H.O.

(Near Oberoi Hotel)

Cultural Event: Immediately following the run, the Cultural Event will take place at Delhi Blind School. Celebrating life and creativity in the face of the epidemic, the cultural event will consist of music and drama performances. The jazz and rock bands invited have members from communities affected by the epidemic. Co-sponsor Population Council will organize a skit presentation between music acts to highlight issues of at-risk populations. Lunch will be available. In addition, stalls will be set up by sponsors and other national and international organisations, including Population Council, Citibank, and UNDP, to present their work addressing HIV/AIDS and supporting communities.

This event is open to the public. There is no fee for participation. Participants are encouraged to wear red or white, but all will be welcomed. 

Jamia Millia Islamia, Indira Gandhi National Open University, Bhim Rao Ambedkar College, and Amity University are collaborating with Alliance India to provide volunteers for the event and organise student participation.

If you have any questions, please email us at: worldaidsday@allianceindia.org

Poster: Help get the word out about this event. Print out our poster and display it in your community. Thanks!

Map of World AIDS Day All-India Run Route and Cultural Event Location

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Alliance India’s World AIDS Day 2012 Objectives
  • To raise awareness on the need for continued support to address HIV among high-risk groups
  • To celebrate the diversity of affected communities with a focus on living lives free from stigma and discrimination
  • To acknowledge and encourage stakeholders, including government, civil society and the private sector, to intensify efforts to ensure a continuum of care services for affected communities
India HIV/AIDS Alliance

Based in New Delhi, Alliance India was founded in 1999 as a non-governmental organization operating partnership with civil society and communities to support sustained responses to HIV in India. Complementing the Indian national program, Alliance India works through capacity building, technical support and advocacy to strengthen delivery of effective, innovative, community- based interventions to key populations affected by the epidemic. The organization’s programs focus on those most vulnerable to HIV, with a particular emphasis on marginalized populations, such as men who have sex with men, people who use drugs, transgenders, and sex workers.

World AIDS Day Background

World AIDS Day has been observed since 1988. HIV/AIDS has become one of the defining health and development issues of our time. Low- and middle-income nations, even those with increasingly powerful economies like India, still face serious shortfalls in resources for AIDS. Stigma and discrimination toward those affected by the epidemic continue to create significant barriers to effective responses. Two-thirds of those who require antiretroviral treatment to live healthy lives still do not have access to these life-saving drugs. Investment in programming for high-risk populations such as men who have sex with men, sex workers, people who use drugs, and transgenders continue to be grossly insufficient. Worldwide HIV has infected an estimated 34 million people. In India, the National AIDS Control Organisation estimates overall adult HIV prevalence at 0.31%, which translates into roughly 2.4 million people living with HIV in India.

2012 Global Theme for World AIDS Day

The theme for World AIDS Day as chosen by UNAIDS and its partners is Getting to Zero: Zero New HIV Infections, Zero Discrimination and Zero AIDS Related Deaths. World AIDS Day advocacy will focus on ensuring universal access to services including prevention, care, support and treatment and of fulfilling human rights.

Is the Commonwealth ready for an AIDS-free generation?

Prasada Rao presents on the recently published report of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law at the International AIDS Conference in July 2012.

J.V.R. Prasada Rao blogs in New Statesman (London) about the importance of law reform in successfully addressing HIV/AIDS and how the Commonwealth can lead by example and take decisive actions to address the legal and structural barriers currently impeding the global HIV response:

Last week the European Parliament agreed on a new law to provide specific assistance and protection to people who suffer crime because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or, in a first for EU law, gender expression.

Can we expect the Commonwealth to adopt such a progressive approach on HIV and human rights issues? The annual meeting of the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers, coming up soon in New York, normally attracts attention for its economic and political agenda. But among the HIV/AIDS community, populations vulnerable to the infection and human rights activists, concern is centered on the fate of certain recommendations relating to the Commonwealth’s legal reform process….

To read the complete article, please click here.

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Prasada Rao is in the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on AIDS in the Asia Pacific region. He is former Director General of India’s National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) and former Regional Director of UNAIDS in Asia and the Pacific. He served as a member of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law and is a trustee of both the International HIV/AIDS Alliance and India HIV/AIDS Alliance.