Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Second Durban Declaration Access Equity Rights - Now!

PASADA attended the just ended 21st International AIDS Conference which took place in Durban, South Africa from the 18th to 22nd of July 2016. The meeting Released the 2nd Durban Declaration as shown below;

The Second Durban Declaration
Access Equity Rights - Now!
There has been remarkable progress in our response to AIDS since the global HIV community last convened in Durban in 2000. Curbing the spread of HIV was the first step . Accelerating investment and action on robust human rights and social justice agenda is the next.

Despite significant scientific advancements, we continue to encounter structural barriers that impede real world progress. Realizing the promise of scientific achievement requires a greater commitment to removing barriers between discovery and implementation. The 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) must bring these pieces together – the key scientific advances needed to end the epidemic and the key structural barriers impeding progress – and secure greater political commitment including financial resources to get the job done.

Focusing on the five key scientific advances
  1. Ensure access to antiretroviral therapy for all people living with HIV
    The benefits of early and sustained antiretroviral therapy (ART) for the health of people living with HIV and treatment as prevention in the overall population are undeniable and broadly recognized. We must ensure that on diagnosis ART access for all people living with HIV becomes a reality despite resource constraints.
  2. Scale up modern combination HIV prevention packages
    Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and voluntary medical male circumcision are major breakthroughs in HIV prevention science. They should complement the benefits of universal ART and must remain a priority. Long-acting and more convenient prevention methods such as injectable PrEP should be further developed to become an integral part of today’s combination HIV prevention package.
  3. Treat and manage co-infections and co-morbidities
    Morbidity and mortality in people living with HIV is increasingly driven by co-infections and co-morbidities. A range of new technologies and drug options have been developed which now need to be fully scaled up, notably, for hepatitis C and tuberculosis HIV co-infections. Non-communicable diseases like diabetes and hypertension are another important area of linkage requiring attention.
  4. Amplify research efforts for a vaccine and a cure
    Preventive vaccine strategies and sustained HIV remission while off ART remain paramount to achieving definitive and economically-sustainable epidemic control. The recent progress in vaccine development and HIV cure research should be accelerated, driven by the necessary resources and motivation to consign AIDS to history.
  5. Optimize implementation research
    Implementation science should increasingly become the cornerstone for realising access, acceptability, uptake, and sustained adherence across the HIV cascade. This will include leveraging differentiated models of care and other innovative approaches to translate science into long-term, sustainable and equitable progress.

Addressing the five key structural barriers
  1. Focus on key populations within and across various HIV epidemic scenarios
    Key populations – men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers and people who inject drugs – are disproportionately affected by HIV and among these groups there has been a recent resurgence in HIV infections. National responses should create an enabling environment and increase their access to HIV services across the cascade – including for adolescent key populations.
  2. Address gender inequality and empower young women and girls
    Socially-embedded inequalities render young women and girls – including transgender women - particularly vulnerable to HIV infection. We need a global plan for ending the epidemic among them that includes ensuring multi-sectoral policy and programmatic synergy and embraces sexual and reproductive health and rights.

  3. Challenge laws, policies and practices that stigmatize and discriminate against people living with HIV and key populations
    It is long past time to amend and remove laws, policies and practices that inappropriately regulate (e.g. violation of sexual and reproductive rights), control (e.g. entry, stay and residence restrictions), punish (e.g. criminalization of HIV non-disclosure, exposure and transmission) and/or fail to protect (e.g. criminalization of homosexuality, sex work and drug use; lack of protection from violence) key populations and people living with HIV in many contexts.
  4. Increase investment in civil society and community lead responses
    Civil society – as activists, advocates and service providers - has long been the backbone of the AIDS response, ensuring greater accountability and action from political leaders to address the epidemic. In many settings, these groups are under siege by restrictive laws and funding cuts. The global HIV community must stand in solidarity with civil society and reaffirm its place in the HIV response.

  5. Enhance capacity of frontline healthcare workers
    Ensure that frontline healthcare workers have what they need to provide client-centred care through national roll out of quality pre- and in-service training. This should include addressing stigma and discrimination which is often considered one of the most significant barriers to accessing HIV services.
We, the undersigned, agree that the return of the conference to Durban this year will be a defining moment to establish a clear path toward guaranteeing that no one is left behind in the AIDS response. When we write the history of the epidemic, let it be that in Durban in 2016 we seized the opportunity to alter the course of this epidemic forever.

Now, more than ever we must ensure
Access Equity Rights – Now!
For further information and signing the Declaration click here


The The Coalition for Children Affected by AIDS and The Teresa Group hosted the just ended "Children and HIV" Symposium from the 15th to 16th of July, 2016 in Durban South Africa. This was an affiliated event of the 21st International AIDS Conference. The meeting released the following Statement  on Children and Adolescents regarding HIV;


We, civil society organizations working on behalf of children and adolescents and their families, urge national governments to ensure the following five global targets1 are achieved as policies are set, resources allocated and programs designed to address HIV and AIDS in their respective countries:
3. HIV-sensitive Care, Support & Social Protection:
Commit to ensuring 75% of children, adolescents and their parents living with and affected by HIV
receive comprehensive care and support – including social and child protection.
Comprehensive care and support, including social and child protection, have been shown to
both improve adherence and retention for children and parents and to enable HIV-affected
children to achieve their developmental potential. New evidence also shows that comprehensive
social protection—providing some form of cash transfer in combination with care and support
interventions such as parental monitoring, teacher support, adolescent-friendly clinics and peer
group activities (sometimes known as “cash plus care”)—improves adolescent adherence and
reduces their risk behaviour.
4. Supporting Caregivers so Children and Adolescents can Thrive:
Commit to strengthening the capacity of families, the community-level child care workforce, and
the social welfare workforce, so that together they can meet the developmental needs of children
living with, and affected by HIV, from pregnancy, to early childhood, and into adolescence.
We recognize the critical roles that families and other caregivers play in caring for HIV-affected
children and adolescents – including fostering healthy growth and development. We must ensure
programming helps family caregivers to deal with stresses & support children at each stage of
development into adolescence. This requires scale-up of caregiver/parenting support programs,
integrated as part of health, education and social welfare systems.
5. Stigma Elimination:
Commit to ensuring that all children living with and affected by HIV are free from stigma and
discrimination due to their HIV status and/or that of their caregivers.
HIV-related stigma and discrimination cause severe psychological distress among children,
and can prevent access to education, treatment, and care. Children orphaned by HIV, and those
living with HIV positive caregivers, experience greater stigma and bullying than their peers. Other
groups of children being discriminated against include children of parents of key populations, key
population adolescents, and children and adolescents with disabilities. Governments must work
with all key stakeholders to ensure that safe and non-discriminatory environments are created in
health facilities, community organizations, educational settings and more broadly in society as a