AIDS Action Europe would like to welcome and introduce to you our new AAE Steering Committee Member: Sini Pasanen. Sini is from Finland and she will replace Lella Cosmaro as the new co-chair of the HIV/AIDS Civil Society Forum. Furthermore, AAE would like to thank Lella Cosmaro and Tamás Bereczky for chairing the Civil Society Forum.
Thank you Lella and Tamás
Lella has been a chair for the last four years and Tamás joined her on behalf of EATG two years ago. With their different gifting talents they wonderfully complemented each other and made the CSF meetings a great success, not only what the chairing of the meetings itself is concerned but also in terms of their preparation, taking action to advocate for key populations’ concerns and giving civil society a voice in conferences, meetings and consultancies. However, we will not have to entirely miss them since Tamás will keep on working in the field on behalf of EATG and Lella will still serve as a member of the CSF for another year and also be part of the AAE Steering Committee until the end of 2016.
Sini has been working as an Executive Director at Positiiviset ry, HivFinland for 9 years. With totally twenty years working with HIV issues in non-governmental organisations, Sini has gained detailed knowledge about the policies, trends, issues and activities in Finland, the Nordic countries and across whole Europe. Sini is working at the HivFinland (Positiiviset ry), which is a 26-year old national HIV organisation which is led by people living with HIV, at least half of the board members has to be people living with HIV. HivFinland is a patient and peer organisation and the only association for people living with HIV in Finland. Their work is mainly funded by the Finnish Slot Machine Association.
Their main purposes are to promote the wellbeing of PLHIV and their families, to ensure that the rights of PLHIV are taken into account on different levels and to participate in the forming of HIV policies in Finland. HivFinland works to empower people who live with HIV and/or are affected by HIV/AIDS and fight discrimination and prejudice. Currently HivFinland has a strong focus on promoting sexual health, HIV- and Hepatitis C prevention
Sini at the HIV/AIDS CSF
Sini has been part of Civil Society Forum since 2011, first, representing HIV-Nordic and now Positiiviset ry, HivFinland. HIV-Nordic is a 20 years old organisation and HivFinland is part of this co-operative body for Nordic patient organisations. Sini has been a board member for 7 years.
Sini is very much looking forward to collaborating and working in cooperation with the extremely qualified NGO professionals of the CSF, as well as being a member in the Steering committee of AAE.
“I’m looking forward to continuing the excellent work of CSF co-chairs. CSF is a very special place where we can meet with different EU actors. We can’t reach anything without cooperation and learning from each other. Sharing best practices and information is essential in reaching our goals. Civil society has to play a meaningful role in the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of HIV/AIDS policies also in the future.
We still have many issues to tackle when at the same time more and more ambitious targets are set. How to reach current ambitious HIV/AIDS targets? We will never reach the goals of reducing HIV incidence or eliminating AIDS-related deaths without applying the human rights based approach in HIV prevention, care and treatment services to all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, their drug use or engagement in sex work, or their residential status. Stigma and discrimination are still playing a big role and are faced especially by most affected people.
That’s one reason why the EC has to start working immediately on a comprehensive EU-Eastern Partnership Policy Framework, which will pave the way for HIV, Tuberculosis and viral Hepatitis elimination in both the EU and the Eastern neighbourhood.”
– Sini Pasanen, HivFinland, co-chair HIV/AIDS Civil Society Forum
Welcome on board, Sini!