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25.07.07

To-day, the RHCF coordinators participating in the 4th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2007), visited the Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association.

Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association, through its objectives, policies and programs, aims to achieve equality, social, legal, political, cultural and economic justice for past and present workers in the sex industry, in order for sex workers to be self-determining agents, building their own alliances and choosing where and how they work. The membership includes State based Sex Worker Organisations and Projects throughout Australia and ensures they are able to represent the issues effecting our members and sex workers Australia wide. Any individual sex worker, past or present, is eligible for membership to Scarlet Alliance.

Australia has very low rates of HIV/AIDS amongst sex workers, due to response by sex workers in partnership with Scarlet Alliance members, community based sex worker organisations and other agencies. Sometimes sex workers have to carry on the educative function with their clients, who do not have enough knowledge about sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.

Scarlet Alliance member organisations and projects have the highest level of contact with sex workers, including contract workers, in Australia of any agency, government or non-government. Our Annual National Forum, teleconferences, Elists, this website which includes sex worker only areas illiciting comments from sex workers, Chat rooms and member issue forums ensure we are constantly informed by our membership; the staff of the member organisations & projects; and sex workers.

At the end of the tour the hosts answered numerous questions of the delegates of the Conference.


24.07.07

To-day, the RHCF coordinators participating in the 4th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2007), visited The Sydney Sexual Health Centre.

The Center provides a confidential and comprehensive service that helps put you in control of your sexual health. The Center does this by providing screening, vaccination and management of sexually transmissible infections (STIs) including HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, womens and mens sexual health care, education, individual and couple counselling, and needle and syringe program. The service is free and a Medicare card is not required. When presenting to SSHC you will be required to provide some identifying information and contact details.

The Center Services cover:
screening for sexually transmitted infections including: gonorrhoea, chlamydia, HIV, trichomoniasis, hepatitis B, syphilis, pubic lice, genital warts, genital herpes, pelvic inflammatory disease, relationship, sexuality and gender counselling, management of AIDS and HIV infection, management of other genital conditions, such as candidiasis (thrush) and bacterial vaginosis (BV), pregnancy testing and referral management and referral for sexual assault, vaccination for hepatitis A and B, telephone information and advice, Satellite Clinic, assistance with contact tracing.

The Center also has Special clinics and services: HIV clinics and support services, colposcopy clinic, interpreter services and TTY, Thai language clinic, Chinese language clinic, Korean language clinic, sex worker screening, a clinic for men who have sex with men.
The Center service supports health promotion programs and prioritises care to groups at 'high risk' of STIs and HIV, such as: men who have sex with men (MSM), sex workers, injecting drug users (IDU), people living with HIV/AIDS and young people.

The same centers function in other 34 cities of Australia.


22.07.07

The IAS 2007 Opening Session, held on Sunday 22 July, began with a dance performance by the Sydney-based Aboriginal ensemble, Descendance Cultural Group. Robert Welsh, Chairperson of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, followed with a welcome to the land.

The Hon. Tony Abbott, Australias Minister for Health and Ageing, spoke about Australias role in the fight against the pandemic, confirming that preventing the spread of HIV is a priority for the Australian Government. He also pledged Australias commitment to offering assistance and scientific advances to inform and strengthen both the domestic and the global response.


Mr. Abbotts State counterpart, New South Wales (NSW) Minister for Health Reba Meagher, said NSW is a leader in HIV/AIDS treatment and research through bipartisan political support and a willingness to work across political, social, disciplinary and professional boundaries. According to Ms. Meagher, a crucial part of her states success has been the role played by clinicians, not just in providing quality care, but as committed patient advocates. The NSW Government invested nearly $90 million in 2006/07, and has seen some success through a 17 per cent decrease in new HIV infections over the past 10 years.

Ms. Maura Elaripe, President of Women Affected by HIV and AIDS in Papua New Guinea, described the community response to HIV/AIDS. Ms. Elaripe works with a number of prominent HIV organizations in Papua New Guinea (PNG). She is an HIV-positive woman and a nurse, diagnosed with HIV in 1997, and she was one of the first women in PNG to come out publicly about her HIV status. Ms. Elaripe has worked on a range of important advocacy programs, calling on the PNG government and NGOs to make antiretroviral therapy widely available and accessible in PNG. She also advocates for positive womens rights in her country and is an advocate on womens issues generally.

In his keynote address, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in the United States, reviewed recent advances in understanding the pathogenesis or disease-causing mechanisms of HIV, including the very early events following infection, and the opportunities to build on this knowledge to develop new interventions.

In his keynote address, Dr. Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, reviewed advances in the global response to AIDS in the last 15 years, including the growing prominence of health on the international development agenda, the demonstrated feasibility of scaling up treatment in resource-constrained settings, new opportunities for HIV prevention and the global mobilization of civil society. He also outlined the major challenges that need to be overcome if the goal of universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support is to be translated from hope into reality, such as the need for sustainable financing and strategies to address the health workforce crisis.


21.07.07

As the largest international gathering of its kind, the 4th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2007) will convene in Sydney, Australia from 22-25 July 2007. Held every two years, the conference is a unique opportunity for leading scientists, clinicians, public health experts and community leaders to examine the latest developments in HIV-related research, and to explore how scientific advances can in very practical ways inform the global response to HIV/AIDS. The Global Fund is one of the co-organizers of the Conference.

IAS 2007 is organized by the International AIDS Society (IAS) in partnership with the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine (ASHM). The successful scale-up of prevention and treatment requires an unprecedented level of collaboration between scientists, clinicians and others on the frontlines. Australia was one of the first countries to develop a national strategy on HIV/AIDS, and continues to base its response on a collaborative partnership between the research, health care, government and community sectors. And the IAS Conference is where this collaboration happens.

Over 5,000 delegates from 133 countries will attend IAS 2007. Over 3,100 original abstracts were submitted for consideration and 978 were accepted for oral or poster presentation. This represents more than a 50 per cent increase in the number of abstracts submitted to IAS 2005 held in Rio de Janeiro in 2005.

HIV/AIDS Programe coordinators of the Global Fund Project Y. Brodskaya, I. Zakharova and A. Pankratov assist the 4th IAS Conference.


29.06.07

"HIV-infected people should not feel degraded due to their HIV-positive status because this disease has become a national problem since long ago", said Vladimir Pozner, President, Russian TV Academy, during a press-conference in the News Agency of Bashkortostan. The popular journalist and TV host arrived in Ufa to produce his Time to Live Talk-Show on HIV/AIDS to be broadcast on July 3, 2007, through the Vsya Ufa TV Channel.

As of today, there are over 400,000 officially registered HIV-positive people, in Russia. However, V. Pozner believes that this figure should be multiplied at least by 3 to arrive at a trustworthy number of HIV-infected people in the country, and this means that almost one per cent of Russias population is infected with this deadly virus. As noted by Vladimir Pozner, overall, there are some positive developments in combating this disease, and those have resulted from the involvement of public authorities and, hence, mobilization of significant financial resources to address this problem. At the same time, the situation is aggravating due to the negative attitude of society to HIV-infected people.

"This is really a fatal disease in the case of complete inaction, if the problem is hushed up, and HIV-positive people remain to be treated as outcasts, he said. Society must be tolerant to HIV-infected people, and mass media are called to play a major role to this end".

According to V. Pozner, journalists should become sort of public awareness raisers; they should convey information about the disease to the public. "We have a unique opportunity to have impact on public opinion through our publications and TV and radio scenarios, said V. Pozner. People must be guided and stirred. No one can do it better than journalists."

Answering the question about his motives to get involved in addressing these problems, V. Pozner said: "I just understood that I was able to contribute somehow. I am an atheist: I believe neither in hell, nor in heaven. But nevertheless, if they do exist, one should try to manage to do something good."

Initiated by Vladimir Pozner and an alliance of international and Russian non-governmental organisations dealing with HIV/AIDS, the Time to Live Tele-Marathon has visited as many as 25 cities in the Russian Federation. It is the only TV talk-show in the country which discusses HIV/AIDS problems. The bulk of financial and logistic support for the Tele-Marathon is provided by the PSI Foundation per request from the Russian Health Care Foundation. Assistance is also rendered by the State Dumas Inter-Party Working Group for AIDS Prevention and Control and the Federal Oversight Service for Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare under the MOHSD.


28.06.07

A. Pankratov, Program Coordinator from the Russian Health Care Foundation, arrived in Ufa to prepare and attend the Time to Live Talk-Show to be broadcast on July 3, 2007. On June 28, 2007, he had a meeting with R.Sh. Azamatov, Chief Physician, Bashkortostans AIDS and Infectious Disease Control Centre. They discussed the progress under the Global Fund Program (4th Round) in the Republic of Bashkortostan.

It was noted that, the Centre was experiencing difficulties, first of all, arising from inadequate physical infrastructure incapable to ensure proper performance in the context of growing needs for services. In the first turn, premises are needed for the AIDS diagnostic laboratory which is the only laboratory in Bashkortostan providing the whole range of tests for HIV-infection. It is also critical to set up a prevention unit and a medical and social rehabilitation department under the Centre. The Centre needs to be staffed with 46 more physicians, 35 nurses and 34 other personnel.

R.Sh. Azamatov also notes that to ensure successful implementation of the Global Fund Program in Bashkortostan, it is necessary to introduce effective alternative health care delivery technologies to safeguard and restore HIV-infected patients physical and mental health and social wellbeing. To prevent HIV infection among adolescents and youth, there is a need to intensify respective joint efforts with relevant ministries, agencies, civil society organisations and representatives of various religious confessions. There is a need to strengthen cooperation with law enforcement bodies, including the police and the department of the Federal Drug Trafficking Control Service in charge of work with high risk groups (commercial sex workers, injection drug users and sexual minorities). A major role is to be played by the Association of Civil Society Organisations to Counteract the Spread of HIV-Infection in Bashkortostan; this Association was set up under the AIDS and ID Control Centre of Bashkortostan to provide uniform comprehensive guidance in this area.

On June 29, 2007, A. Pankratov, Program Coordinator from the Russian Health Care Foundation, will have a meeting with A.A. Yevsyukov, Minister of Health of the Republic of Bashkortostan, to discuss the Global Fund (4th Round) Program performance.


26.06.07

A TV filming crew arrived in the Capital of Bashkortostan to shoot a Time to Live Talk Show to discuss HIV/AIDS-related problems. Vladimir Pozner, President of the Russian TV Academy, will come to Ufa this week later. Ufa will be the 26th venue of this major Tele-Marathon dedicated to one of the most important problems of the present day. V. Pozner already hosted similar talk-shows in St-Petersburg, Ulan-Ude, Irkutsk and other Russian cities. The Vsya Ufa TV Company won the tender for the right to work with V. Pozner.

The talk-show will bring together people, who are affected, in this or that way, with HIV, top officials from the Administration of Bashkortostan, medical specialists, representatives from non-commercial organisations and mass media.

In general, Bashkortostan is a region where the HIV incidence is fortunately low. Nevertheless, it faces a number of problems, and one of the most essential of them is how to help an infected person rather than leave him alone with his tragedy.

We have found out that HIV-positive citizens of Ufa will be in the centre of the talk-show. They will tell the audience about their disease and how they have to live with it.
The talk-show will be aired on July 3, 2007 through the Vsya Ufa TV Channel at 09:00 p.m. The Time to Live Tele-Marathon was initiated by V. Pozner and an alliance of international and Russian non-commercial organisations addressing HIV/AIDS problems. Financial and logistic support was provided by the PSI Foundation per request from the Russian Health Care Foundation.


15.06.07

A Nation-Wide Competition was held in Russia under the motto To Know Means to Live. It was arranged by the Federal Oversight Service for Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare under the National Priority Health Project. Its participants included medical, research, and non-governmental organisations engaged in prevention and treatment of HIV-infection and AIDS-associated diseases. The competition objectives were as follows: to identify the best public awareness projects related to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment for various populations; to select the best information and advocacy products; to publicize individual and population-based prevention approaches on a broad basis in Russia; and to raise the pubic awareness.

It is most pleasant to note that winners of this competition include a number of organisations which produced information materials under the Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation.

The Saratov Regional Branch of the Stop Alcoholism Russian Charity Foundation (Balakovo City) was rated the first under the nomination: The Best HIV Prevention Product for People at the Ages of 30 40, for its Brochure called HIV? Is it Really So Dreadful?

The Humanitarian Project Novosibirsk City Non-Governmental Organisation was rated the first under the nomination: The Best Printed Product for HIV Prevention among Prisoners, for its Freedom to Know the Truth Booklet and Poster.

We congratulate all the winners and participants of the competition and are looking forward to continuing the fruitful cooperation with them to prevent HIV infection and combat AIDS!


08.06.07

During the 3rd Medicine-2007 International Exhibition, a round table took place to discuss the most important issues of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Management through Specific Up-to-Date Prevention Practices.

A.T. Goliusov, Manager, HIV/AIDS Surveillance Unit, Epidemiologic Surveillance Department, Federal Oversight Service for Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare, reported about the progress of the National Priority Health Project under its component meant to prevent HIV infection, hepatites B and C and identify and treat HIV-infected patients.

D.A. Goliaev, Global Fund Project Director, reported about the progress under the 3rd and 4th Rounds Projects of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.

A. Kubatayev, Regional Director, American International Health Alliance, dwelled on human resource capacity building through training in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.

Other speakers presented their reports on: experience with training in HIV prevention and treatment for graduates from higher medical schools (T.V. Sokolova, Assistant Professor, Chair of Epidemiology, Sechenov Moscow Medical Academy); universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support (M.V. Semenchenko, Advisor, UNAIDS in Russia), the role of people living with HIV in ensuring universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support in the Russian Federation (I.V. Pchelin, Coordinating Council, Russian Community of People Living with HIV, Shaghi [Steps] Foundation), HIV-related problems in women and children born of them (V.N. Sadovnikova, Deputy Manager, Mother and Child Health Unit, Department of Medical and Social Problems of Family, Mother and Child, MOHSD), the role of vertical transmission prevention programs as a health safeguard for future generations, including up-to-date methods and best practices (A.G. Rakhmanova, Chief Infectionist of St-Petersburg).


07.06.07

The Russian Health Care Foundation will include new participating regions into the Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation. All interested parties are invited to cooperation please, contact our Program Coordinators in the Russian Health Care Foundation: tel. + (495) 258 3882. The Program Participation Application Form is attached.


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