The 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018 http://www.aids2018.org/) took place in July 2018 in Amsterdam. The theme of AIDS 2018 was “Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges”, drawing attention to the need of rights-based approaches to more effectively reach key populations, including in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and the North-African/Middle Eastern regions where epidemics are growing.
Some of the C4D related conference sessions and abstracts submitted are listed below.
- Our actions count: Community mobilization model for social change and transforming ‘inaction in response to Stigma and Discrimination’ into ‘action’
HIV and TB-related stigma and discrimination are important impediments to controlling the dual HIV and TB epidemics. A South African Stigma Index Survey was completed in 18 districts in South Africa. This study included over 10 700 participants who are HIV positive and who are older than 15 years, the largest of its kind in the world. Measuring stigma associated with TB was included in this type of survey for the first time. The purpose of the Stigma Index was to measure stigma and discrimination experienced by PLHIV and TB and to inform the development and implementation of national policies and programmes to protect the rights of PLHIV and TB.
- From online reach to offline services: Using social media strategies to increase uptake of and access to HIV testing among MSM in Vietnam
Rates of HIV are increasing among the estimated 330,000 men who have sex with men (MSM) in Vietnam. Face-to-face outreach only reaches a fraction of at-risk MSM. A 2015 USAID/PATH Healthy Markets (HM) study found that 98% of MSM surveyed across four provinces regularly used Facebook, and preferred social media as a source of HIV and health information. HM and MSM leaders co-created a fun, sex-positive HIV prevention and service awareness, trust, and uptake campaign?“My Future, My Choice”?that utilized a Facebook community (Rainbow Village), online influencers trained as HIV lay testers, and an HIV service booking application (I Reserve), to allow for a measurable online-to-offline HIV testing-treatment cascade.
- Civil society under threat: How can HIV advocates resist the impact? Conservative populism and social exclusion of civil society
Repression of civil society is rising. In 2012-2015, more than 120 laws restricting civil rights were introduced or proposed in 60 countries. Governments are implementing legal, administrative and other measures restricting operations of non-governmental organizations, particularly those rooted in marginalized communities disproportionately affected by HIV. Repression tools include burdensome registration requirements, restrictions on basic freedoms (including peaceful assembly and online expression), physical attacks and imprisonment. Panellists will explore the impacts of civil society restrictions and human rights violations on the HIV response and they will discuss how HIV advocates can defend essential civil liberties.
- New information and communication technologies: Opportunities for empowered, person-centred healthcare
In a world of exponentially growing data and new technologies, many new insights in behaviour can be discovered. These data insights inform us on how to design effective health intervention and new technologies allow for sufficient reach among the target audience. This session will showcase new innovative approaches in using electronic data to gain better insights in health behaviour and new communication technologies to better reach the right audiences with tailored information.
- We are women with voices, not an HIV diagnosis! Sharing experiences on processes of individual and collective empowerment driven by women’s lives, bodies and creativity
Traditional ways of working with women with HIV focus on their diagnosis rather than addressing their specific needs and guaranteeing their rights. Methodologies based on providing information are not enough for them to build both leadership and capacities for advocating on their rights. At the end of the workshop, participants will be aware of the value of empowerment methodologies based on gender and a human rights approach. They will learn about partnership potential among feminists, women with HIV and artistic movements. The workshop will be itself a space to boost networking and joint action.
- Women LEAD Community Participatory Research based advocacy towards policy and programs that impact women and girls.
Lived experiences and story narratives of people living with HIV particularly women Living with HIV have been pivotal in processes that design, plan, implement, monitor, review, and reform Policy, Law and programs that have impacted the lives of women and girls in the HIV and health response. Innovative approaches for packaging this information has always evolved as targeted Advocacy efforts are designed by women led organizations as well as stakeholders who work to address issues focused on women and girls access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. A presentation on the role of Women led community participatory research for strengthening evidence for desired change showing up-to-date impact will be combined with presentations by women leaders from Regional and country ICW networks and partners to share experiences, growth process and key lessons for supporting stronger community participatory approaches by donors and stakeholders
- From Invisibility to Indivisibility: Strengthening the impact of civil society and community led networks in the HIV response through the Robert Carr Fund
The Robert Car civil society Networks Fund (RCNF) is the first international pooled funding mechanism that specifically aims to strengthen global and regional HIV civil society and community networks across the world. This focus is in recognition of networks’ critical value and contribution to better health, inclusion and social wellbeing of inadequately served populations (ISPs), given their unique reach into and impact at community level.