The AIDS 2010 rapporteurs held their Summary Session immediately before the Closing Session on Friday. All week long, rapporteurs have been “scurrying around” collecting and synthesizing presentations, according to session Chair Alan Whiteside, Director of the Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division at the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. The rapporteurs - experienced scientists, clinicians, researchers and advocates from around the world - summarised many of the presentations made during the week, focusing on critical issues addressed, important results presented and key recommendations put forward. The rapporteur reports will be available here and in the Programme-at-a-Glance. More...
By Sara Speicher, Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance
A multi-faith meeting on the eve of the XVIII International AIDS Conference called for faith communities to keep commitments they have made to promote universal access, overcome stigma and discrimination and become welcoming communities for people living with HIV.
"This has to do with a basic issue of justice," said Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches in an address to the 17 July multi-faith conference at Vienna's Technical University. The conference gathered more than 250 people, including leaders of religious groups, networks of people living with HIV and international organizations, under the theme Rights Here, Right Now: What's faith got to do with it? The conference was organized by a multi-faith working group convened by the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance.
Tveit was part of an opening panel looking at how faith traditions promote work towards universal access to HIV treatment, care, support and prevention. He recalled that in 1987 the main governing body of the Geneva-based WCC had affirmed the "right to medical and pastoral care regardless of socio-economic status, race, sex, sexual orientation or sexual relationship. We should keep our commitments to do what we know we have to do," said Tveit. More...
In Vienna we will welcome nearly 900 delegates from 141 countries who received full or partial scholarships to attend AIDS 2010 as part of the International and Media Scholarship Programmes.
The Scholarship Review Committee selected these and other recipients from a pool of more than 11,000 applicants from 179 different countries, looking for those candidates that could best transfer the skills and knowledge gained at AIDS 2010 to the work they do in their organizations and communities. In selecting the scholarship recipients, the committee reviewed the candidates’ answers to questions about their HIV/AIDS work, why they wanted to attend AIDS 2010 and what benefits they would bring back to their organizations and communities.
|Scholarship recipients at AIDS 2008.
The backgrounds and motivations of scholarship recipients are very diverse, as exemplified by these comments from a few of those selected:
- An activist from Congo working with religious leaders says, “It is important for us to attend conferences on AIDS to improve our approach to problems linked to HIV and be heard by others on our experience with HIV, especially learning to improve the response in our community.”
- An advocate from the Caribbean Region says, “I live in a very small society which makes it extremely challenging for PLWHAs to disclose their status. I expect that at this international setting, I will encounter more HIV-positive persons open to sharing their concerns/hopes/fears thereby educating persons like me who are passionate about communicating with others the need to create an accepting environment. I also believe that I will become more fully aware of concerns related to HIV/AIDS, build my capacity to advocate for desirable legislation, learn new skills and develop new strategies to help me in my work.” More...