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National policy priorities

Roadside kiosk decorated with HIV prevention messages, Bukina Faso © Gideon Mendel/AllianceAn outreach worker counsels an injecting drug user, Ukraine © Gideon Mendel/Alliance

    Changes at national level can make the biggest difference to community action on HIV. 

9 country programs led to policy change

Introduction

The Alliance is committed to strengthening communities’ ability to influence national programming and policies.

Increasingly, our experience suggests that the major policy obstacles to Universal Access are found at community and national level, and that positive policy changes in these environments can make the biggest difference to community action on HIV.

Impact on people living with HIV

In many of the countries where the Alliance works, basic HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services are not accessible to vulnerable and marginalised groups because of restrictive policies and laws, poor service design and limited availability.

The Alliance approach

The Alliance national policy priorities include advocating for:

  • Effective HIV prevention, with particular emphasis on addressing the structural drivers of the epidemic
  • Protecting the human rights of people living with HIV, people who use drugs, men who have sex with men, sex workers, women and girls - and raising their issues and visability
  • Improving access to quality health services and ensuring they respond to the rights of people living with HIV without stigma and discrimination
  • Increasing financing for the health-related MDGs.

The Alliance supports and develops national-level advocacy partnerships through the National Partnership Platform initiatives (NPPs). NPPs are one way to unify civil society voices by building capacity and creating a national space for effective dialogue between civil society, government and other stakeholders that can contribute to common advocacy and policy positions, and play a role in monitoring national AIDS, TB and health related targets and pledges.

Activities of the NPPs in each country differ, but examples include social networking tools and e-forums, citizen journalists, community consultations, online dissemination of information, capacity building and advocacy.

Achievements to date

In 2010, the Alliance strengthened the capacity of civil society to engage in national and international decision making, to create enabling environments and defend human rights.  We also made sure the voices of those most affected by HIV were heard by key decision makers.

We lobbied for a more effective response to HIV prevention

  • Alliance linking organisations in Kenya and Uganda are active participants in the Whats Preventing Prevention? campaign.  With ISHTAR, a Kenyan MSM group, KANCO are running their own national campaign to integrate MSM groups into the policy dialogue around HIV and rights.  In Uganda, the National Partnership Platform (an independent national mechanism for joint civil society action) and other civil society partners worked together to develop a ‘Citizen’s Manifesto’ in the run up to the 2011 national elections. 

We advocated for Universal Access to services

  • Funded by DFID, the Alliance began work to implement a project in Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan and Zambia to enable HIV positive women and their families to advocate for and access effective health services.

We defended the human rights of people living with HIV and marginalised groups

  • In Latin America, the Alliance regional programme supported a citizen observatory project in Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia and Peru which documented violations of human rights and the inadequate provision of services for most-at-risk populations.
  • Alliance Ukraine and the secretariat worked together in 2010 to advocate for the release of a physician who had been detained following a crack-down by law enforcement agencies on those who administer Substitution Maintenance Therapy (SMT).  Following national and international media and political pressure, the doctor was released four months later. 

We enabled Key Correspondents to speak their world

  • In 2010, 72 new Key Correspondents (citizen journalists writing about HIV and TB) were trained to share their own and their communities experiences through online journalism and with the local media.

Our partners

  • The Global Network of Positive People Living with HIV/AIDS has an agreement with the Alliance which includes joint policy work
  • World AIDS Campaign, ENASO and SAFAIDS work in partnership with the Alliance to support and develop national partnership platforms in Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda and Kenya.