For more information, please visit : http://www.ias2015.org/
7th Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights
Accra, Ghana, February 8 – 12, 2016
The African Federation for Sexual Health and Rights (AFSHR) is pleased to announce the 7th Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights with the theme “Realizing Demographic Dividend in Africa: the Critical Importance of Adolescents and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights”. The conference will be held in Accra, Ghana from February 8-12, 2016, and hosted by Curious Minds, Ghana.
The conference is part of a long-term process of building and fostering regional dialogue on sexual and reproductive health and rights that leads to concrete actions and enhance stakeholders’ ability to influence policy and programming in favour of a sexually- healthy continent. AFSHR has collaborated with several Core Conference Partners (CCP) and other key stakeholders in sexual and reproductive health over the past twelve years to organise this regional conference. The conference was previously held in Johannesburg, South Africa (2004); Nairobi, Kenya (2006); Abuja, Nigeria (2008); Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2010); Windhoek, Namibia (2012); and Yaoundé, Cameroon (2014).
Conference objectives are:
- Identify promising/best practices on adolescents and youth sexual and reproductive health with a focus on effective responses to youth vulnerabilities
- Facilitate knowledge management and programming to enhance adolescents and youth agency.
- Enhance adolescents and youth policies and programmes in regional and global development agendas.
- Propose actions to promote adolescents and youth sexual and reproductive health and rights in the implementation of the ICPD Beyond 2014, the Post-2015 Development Agenda and Agenda 2063.
About 1,000 participants representing various stakeholder and constituency groups are expected at the conference. These include policy makers, development partners, civil society organisations, and academia, media, adolescents, youth, and duty bearers.
Call for Abstracts
Visit the conference website www.africasexuality.org. for abstract submission information and deadline.
Registration information can be found on the conference website www.africasexuality.org. The registration fee is USD 200. Early bird registration closes on December 15, 2015. Registration after December 20, 2015 will attract additional charges
For detailed information visit : www.africasexuality.org.
Recently, UNAIDS (Nigeria) organized a forum for key populations in view of achieving the 90-90-90 target by the year 2020. This crucial forum brought together stakeholders, partners and most especially representatives of key populations (Female sex workers, Men who have sex with men, vulnerable women and girls, and people who inject drugs).
The objectives of the meeting were :
1. Sensitize on the ambitious target
2. Identify strategies to drive the target (90-90-90).
Issues were raised around the fact that most of these key populations were often left behind in HIV/AIDS response globally and in order to eliminate the epidemic by 2030 , they need to be actively involved in the process and targeted approaches have to be defined and implemented.
The 90-90-90 target set by UNAIDS is an ambitious one which seeks to achieve the following globally by year 2020:
a. 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status
b. 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy.
c. 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.
UNAIDS presented a fact sheet at the forum to buttress why achieving the target requires a concerted effort, this can be seen at :
Participants broke out in groups to brainstorm on the following for key populations (KPs) :
1. Improve access to testing
2. Improve access to quality HIV care and treatment
3. Retain people on care and have the optimal outcome of treatment (viral suppression).
At the end of the group session , one thing was clear, key populations felt marginalized and under-served. Issues such as harassment, fear, stigma, lack of enabling environment and unfavorable policies were identified for making access to testing and treatment difficult.
On the way forward, the following strategies were identified :
– Government should ensure that KPs are actively involved in HIV/AIDS decision making processes.
– KPs should be trained as counselors and peer educators: this would empower them to reach their peers.
– Health facilities should be client friendly and free of discrimination.
– Capacity building (HCT, BCC, Adherence, etc.) should be conducted for KPs in order to strengthen their participation and involvement.
– Drop in centers should be created.
– KP support groups should be strengthened and empowered for those who are positive. etc.
This forum convened by UNAIDS is indeed very timely, as Nigeria works toward bridging HIV/AIDS treatment gaps and scaling up testing services. It was also great to hear the government representative reiterate the commitment of the government in ensuring that no one is left behind. Most notable, is the fact that the national strategic plan makes adequate provision for KPs.
We sincerely hope that UNAIDS and the government will continue to engage these key populations (KPs) at all levels.
From Red Ribbon advocate, we say a very big thank you to UNAIDS (Nigeria) for putting together this forum and providing an environment which made it easy for key population representatives to open up about their challenges and proffer plausible strategies.
For more information on the 90-90-90 target, and other UNAIDS strategies please visit : www.unaids.org