www.aidsactioneurope.org hivaidsclearinghouse.eu AIDS Conference Edition, August 2012 Russia flag
Regional Session on Europe
Photo ©2012, Harold Sikkema
The session highlighted key issues related to the HIV epidemic in Europe as well as the response and collaboration between European government, civil society and clinicians, within the context of HIV treatment, prevention and care. Martine de Schutter reviews the session.
This session counted with around 200 – primarily European- participants. It highlighted several European multi-stakeholders' initiatives, including civil society, by showing how they tackle...
      Photo credit: © Harold Sikkema
We Need Action, Not Words and We Need Universal Access Now
©IAS-Ryan Rayburn-commercialimage.net
“At this conference, we have been inspired by the energy of the communities living with and affected by HIV and we have been energized by our engagement with the researchers, scientists, lawyers, and the whole community.
We are here to present you with the top critical issues from communities living with and affected by HIV. As we return to where we live and where we work these are the issues we must tackle together...
     Photo credit: © IAS-Ryan Rayburn-
Stigma Faced by Women Living with HIV in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
©IAC2012Moving life stories were told during this workshop in which stigma-related challenges for women living with HIV, identified from the PLHIV Stigma Index research, were key in a discussion on how to use the results of this research for joint advocacy for women's rights. Lena Grigoryeva chaired the workshop and reports on her findings.
In the region of Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and Estonia, a gender-based approach is a relatively new way of...
      Photo credit: © IAC2012
What's the Point of Networking?
Photo ©2012, Harold Sikkema
Activists from all regions in the world shared their views on the added value of networking. Lella Cosmaro attended this workshop and gives her impressions.
The occasion for this workshop couldn’t be more relevant since the XIX International AIDS Conference brought together 25.000 people from across the globe...
      Photo credit: © Harold Sikkema  
Highlights from IAC 2012 Closing Session
View the highlights video from the AIDS 2012 Closing Session on Friday 27 July 2012. Enjoy scenes from all six days of the conference and remarks from many of the key speakers and presenters at AIDS 2012 (English only).
It is unacceptable that risk reduction strategies, including needle exchange programs, are not implemented everywhere when we know it is one of the most efficacious scientifically sound intervention to prevent HIV infection in injecting drug users.”
Françoise Barré-Sinoussi – in her new position as President of the International AIDS Society
AIDS Forum Kiev - Pre-Conference to the IAC
July 9-10, 2012 (Kiev, Ukraine)
Organised by the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network and the International HIV/AIDS Alliance Ukraine,
to ensure that the interests of people who use drugs –banned from IAC by the USA- and other key populations affected by HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia were represented at the IAC.
The USA have already fixed one mistake which was a ban for HIV positive people to enter the
country. It was not an achievement, it was just a mistake that was fixed. It is now time to fix another one. - Denis Godlevskiy, Russia
                                                                                           Courtesy HCLU
Comparing to AIDS 2010 in Vienna, where several speakers addressed issues like the lack of harm reduction services or the criminalization of drug users, the silence in Washington was staggering. Despite the fact that the International AIDS Society contributed to organize two hubs for drug users and sex workers, one in Kiev and the other one in Kolkata, the video messages of activists recorded at these meetings were not screened and speakers of the opening plenary rarely mentioned issues related to these most at risk populations.
A welcome exception was Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who introduced a bill to lift the remaining travel bans. Less than a month after the Global Commission on Drug Policy published a report on how the global war against drugs fuels the HIV epidemic, nobody, at the opening, named and shamed the US government for being the world’s largest incarcerator, or Russia for banning opiate substitution treatment. The question remains: Is the "AIDS-free generation" more than an empty slogan without addressing failed prohibitionist policies on sex work and drug use?
Members' activities at the conference
The following section is devoted to the members of AIDS Action Europe. AIDS Action Europe currently unites more than 400 NGOs in 46 countries in Europe and Central Asia. In each e-news, one of our member NGOs presents its organisation and its activities to the rest of the network. We hope that this will inspire other NGOs throughout the region and that it will encourage further linking and learning between our members. Together we can work to a better response to the HIV epidemic!
Do you want to present your organisation in our next e-news? Please contact our communications coordinator Maureen Sellmeijer.
BCN Checkpoint  
logo BCN Checkpoint
BCN Checkpoint is a community-based center for HIV and other STIs detection for MSM in Barcelona (Spain), implemented and managed by Spanish patient-based
organization Projecte dels NOMS-Hispanosida. We showed our methods and results at the XIX International AIDS Conference last July.
Ferran Pujol, executive director of the center, presented the oral communication How a Community-Based Testing Center for MSM helps detection of HIV recent infections during the symposium “Creative strategies for provision of and increasing access to services for PLHIV”.

After implementing the rapid test in non-clinical settings in Spain and offering a peer approach for HIV testing and counseling, during the last five years BCN Checkpoint performed an increasing number of tests obtaining an average of 3 to 4 new HIV cases every week. The cases detected represent around 40% of all HIV cases reported annually among MSM in the autonomous region of Catalonia. Of the total of cases detected in BCN Checkpoint 3 out of every 5 were recent infections. It demonstrates that a community-based detection center can impact very significantly in the prevention of new infections.

This project has shown how efficient a community center can work in HIV detection in key populations. Therefore a community-based approach regarding HIV detection should be part of national prevention policies. For this, health authorities should provide adequate funding, and communities should be involved actively in the development of these centers.
More information about BCN Checkpoint can be found on www.bcncheckpoint.com
Michael Meulbroek, Projecte dels NOMS-HISPANOSIDA
Body and Soul
Body & Soul, a UK-based HIV charity, attended IAC 2012 in order to promote our innovative, multi-platform youth-led campaign Life in My Shoes.  Life in My Shoes' aim is simple: if a person could walk a mile in the shoes of a person living with or affected by HIV, they would better empathize with that person’s experiences, and in turn would be less likely to stigmatize that person based on HIV status or other factors.
Seven delegates (including 5 Life in My Shoes ambassadors) were present at the conference. Funding came from IAC 2012 Scholarships and a sponsorship from Standard Chartered. Body & Soul was honoured to be selected for a Global Village booth. The booth attracted thousands of visitors, enabling us to directly share our work with a variety of international organizations. The key contacts made through the conference will be invaluable to the growth of our charity and the dissemination of the Life in My Shoes Campaign.
Body & Soul’s conference highlight was screening the short film Undefeated to a packed audience. Undefeated is based on the true stories of youth living with and affected by HIV in the UK. It chronicles a day in the life of an HIV positive teenager, and is a poignant example of the impact of stigma, discrimination and hostility. This film forms part of a comprehensive curriculum focused on changing attitudes and behaviours.
For more information about Body & Soul, Life in My Shoes and Undefeated, please visit our websites
www.bodyandsoulcharity.org and www.lifeinmyshoes.org or contact emily@bodyandsoulcharity.org

Alison Barnes - Head of Strategy and Impact, Body & Soul
Want to link up with other member NGOs? Like us on Facebook and meet them on Member Monday!
News from the AIDS Action Europe Steering Committee
Have you already visited the AIDS Action Europe blog? At IAC2012 some of our Steering Committee members reported from the conference through our blog. Make sure to read their interesting reflections at AIDS Action Europe on Wordpress.
The next Steering Committee meeting is planned for October 15-16 in Minsk, Belarus. If you wish to raise any issues for discussion by the Steering Committee, please feel free to inform us at office@aidsactioneurope.org by the end of August latest. Minutes of the meetings are always posted on our website.
AIDS Action Europe office


Soa Aids Nederland (STI AIDS Netherlands)
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Phone: +31 (0)20 626 26 69
Fax: +31 (0)20 627 52 21

AIDS Action Europe unites civil society to work towards a more effective response to the HIV epidemic in
Europe and Central Asia.
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