Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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Alliance asks: What's preventing prevention?

5
JUL
2010

Nairobi, Kenya. A member of GALCK poses with the words decriminalise me © Nell Freeman for the Alliance

As delegates prepare to gather in Vienna for the International AIDS Conference 2010: Right Here, Right Now (18-23 July), the International HIV/AIDS Alliance is preparing a campaign to highlight the unacceptable barriers to HIV prevention programmes and services which exist for those who are vulnerable and most at risk of HIV infection.

It has long been recognised that social and structural factors such as poverty, culture and the ability of people to participate equally within the democratic processes of their country greatly influence the behaviour of individuals and communities and thus, national HIV epidemics.  

With new research highlighting the rising costs of HIV treatment and how HIV prevention services are not reaching those most at risk of HIV infection, we ask why are prevention resources not being used in a more efficient manner to prevent even more people from becoming infected with HIV.

Alvaro Bermejo, Executive Director of the Alliance said: ‘As part of the new Alliance strategic framework, HIV and healthy communities, we want to place a stronger emphasis on protecting human rights, and will advocate powerfully for national and international recognition that a human rights based approach is a core ingredient in any successful HIV prevention strategy.’

Building on our experience

This is not a new area of work for the Alliance or its linking organisations.  Many have worked successfully for years to protect the human rights of people living with HIV and those who are vulnerable and most at risk of HIV infection, such as men who have sex with men, sex workers and transgender people.

Through our partners’ work in Latin America, we have witnessed how a growing pattern of violence and intimidation is undermining HIV prevention in the region.  Our Special Report in April revealed how transgender women in Guatemala have been subject to hate crimes.  At least 13 transgender women have been murdered this year alone.

In many countries in Africa, where homosexual behaviour is outlawed and there is denial that men who have sex with men even exist, we have reported on the difficulties for this group to get the protection from HIV that they need.  On World AIDS Day last year, we told the story of Douglas who risks his life as a peer outreach worker for KANCO, our linking organisation in Kenya. 

So what’s preventing prevention?

Our campaign will be calling for global and national HIV prevention efforts to be intensified, with a particular focus on:

  • Promoting prevention programmes which empower vulnerable and most-at-risk population groups, placing them at the centre of prevention responses
  • Removing the barriers to HIV prevention programmes and services that these groups face
  • Lobbying for resources to be used in a more efficient manner to prevent even more people from becoming infected with HIV.

Look out for more information at our exhibition booth (E-427) in Vienna, or keep up to date via our website over the coming months.


    HIV prevention services are not reaching those most at risk of HIV infection