Browsing articles in "The Global Fund"
30 November 2011
Tim Siegenbeek van Heukelom

Australian Landmarks will turn red for World AIDS Day 2011

Today and tomorrow evening landmarks in Australia will be bathed in red for the global launch of World AIDS Day on 1 December 2011. Around the world, over 50 landmarks and iconic monuments will turn red in support of an AIDS-free generation by 2015.

The Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge pylons and Canberra’s New and Old Parliament Houses and Black Mountain Tower will turn red as part of a global campaign to create an AIDS-free generation by 2015;  and to reduce cases of mother-to-child transmission of HIV from 390,000 cases per year to zero by 2015.

On Wednesday 30 November, a World AIDS Day reception at the Opera House will be attended by the Governor-General and prominent HIV experts, advocates and activists involved in the global response to HIV/AIDS. The event is being coordinated by Pacific Friends of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

“Creating an AIDS free generation by 2015 is an ambitious but attainable goal. It is one to which the world must remain committed” said Pacific Friends Chair Wendy McCarthy AO.

The Australian Minister for Health and Ageing, the Hon Nicola Roxon, will be speaking at the Reception, as will the Lord Mayor of Sydney, the Hon Clover Moore MP.

A major theme of this year’s World AIDS Day is the compelling need to eliminate transmission of HIV from mother-to-child. One of the speakers at the Sydney Opera House will be Dr Mobumo Kiromat, the Clinical Director for the Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission with the Clinton Health Access Initiative in Papua New Guinea.

Another key speaker is Mr James Chau, Presenter and Senior Anchor with the China Central Television Network (CCTV) who also serves UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador. World AIDS Day Sydney will also hear from Robert Mitchell, President of the National Association of People Living with HIV AIDS and Mr Paul McClintock, Chair of Medibank.

Tune in to Twitter tonight for live coverage of the event between 7pm and 10pm on Twitter @PacificFriends #WorldAIDSDay #WAD2011 #GettingToZero #AIDSFreeGeneration2015 #turnRED #HIVisStillHere

Here is some coverage of last year’s event:

24 November 2011
Tim Siegenbeek van Heukelom

World AIDS Day 2011 Charity Auction

World AIDS Day 2011 Charity Auction

unique (BUGABOO)RED donkey duo

the first mono-duo-mono convertible stroller for kid(s) and goods

To support World AIDS Day 2011 Bugaboo has generously donated a unique Donkey Duo stroller to Pacific Friends of the Global Fund for auction on eBay. The money raised will go to support ACON‘s Women and Families Affected by HIV Project. The stroller is only one of two in world that have been signed by Bugaboo creative designer Aernout Dijkstra-Hellinga. Launched only last month, the new Donkey Duo strollers have been hugely successful with only a limited number available in Australia due to the high worldwide demand.

The innovative stroller can be easily converted – in three clicks, from a full-sized mono to a full-sized side by side duo and back again to a mono stroller. This makes it suitable for your first child, your second child, or both and for twins, all with flexible and multiple storage space.


Through the Women and Families Affected by HIV Project, ACON provides a supportive environment for HIV positive women and their supporters, family members, carers and friends. The aim is to provide a safe and confidential environment for women to come together for emotional support and build social networks with other positive women, while developing a sense of empowerment and a broader awareness of different aspects of living with HIV including health promotion principles.

The package for auction on eBay includes a unique signed Bugaboo Donkey duo stroller (retail price $1999 AUD) with one extra set of tailored fabrics in red.

Go to the eBay auction to see the current highest bid and bid yourself.

10 November 2011
Tim Siegenbeek van Heukelom

Hillary Rodham Clinton: “Creating an AIDS-Free Generation”

The US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke earlier this week at the National Institutes of Health on “A vision for the next steps in the fight against HIV/AIDS”. Her speech shed a very encouraging light on the fight against HIV/AIDS and the goal of an AIDS-Free Generation by 2015. The Foundation for AIDS Research, amfAR, welcomed the Secretary’ remarks.

The full transcript can be found here, below follow some important excerpts:

What’s more, our efforts have helped set the stage for a historic opportunity, one that the world has today: to change the course of this pandemic and usher in an AIDS-free generation.

Now, by an AIDS-free generation, I mean one where, first, virtually no children are born with the virus; second, as these children become teenagers and adults, they are at far lower risk of becoming infected than they would be today thanks to a wide range of prevention tools; and third, if they do acquire HIV, they have access to treatment that helps prevent them from developing AIDS and passing the virus on to others.

Now, HIV may be with us well into the future. But the disease that it causes need not be. This is, I admit, an ambitious goal, and I recognize I am not the first person to envision it. But creating an AIDS-free generation has never been a policy priority for the United States Government until today, because this goal would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. Yet today, it is possible because of scientific advances largely funded by the United States and new practices put in place by this Administration and our many partners. Now while the finish line is not yet in sight, we know we can get there, because now we know the route we need to take. It requires all of us to put a variety of scientifically proven prevention tools to work in concert with each other. Just as doctors talk about combination treatment – prescribing more than one drug at a time – we all must step up our use of combination prevention.

Even as we recognize all these crucial elements, today I want to focus on the three key interventions that can make it possible to achieve an AIDS-free generation. First, preventing mother-to-child transmission. Today, one in seven new infections occurs when a mother passes the virus to her child. We can get that number to zero. I keep saying zero; my speechwriter keeps saying “Virtually zero.” (Laughter, applause.) And we can save mother’s lives too.

In addition to preventing mother-to-child transmission, an effective combination prevention strategy has to include voluntary medical male circumcision. In the past few years, research has proven that this low-cost procedure reduces the risk of female-to-male transmission by more than 60 percent, and that the benefit is life-long.

In the fight against AIDS, the ideal intervention is one that prevents people from being infected in the first place, and the two methods I’ve described – mother-to-child transmission, voluntary medical male circumcision – are the most cost-effective interventions we have, and we are scaling them up. But even once people do become HIV-positive, we can still make it far less likely that they will transmit the virus to others by treating them with the antiretroviral drugs. So this is the third element of combination prevention that I want to mention.

For years, some have feared that scaling up treatment would detract from prevention efforts. Now we know beyond a doubt if we take a comprehensive view of our approach to the pandemic, treatment doesn’t take away from prevention. It adds to prevention. So let’s end the old debate over treatment versus prevention and embrace treatment as prevention.

Finally, we’re calling on other donor nations to do their part, including by supporting and strengthening the Global Fund. Consider just one example of what the Global Fund has already done. In 2004, virtually none of the people in Malawi who were eligible to receive treatment actually received it. As of last year, with significant help from the Global Fund, nearly half did.

Much of what we do will depend upon the people in this room and the hundreds and thousands like you – the researchers and scientists, the public health docs and nurses and other personnel, the community health workers, the funders and donors, the government officials, the business leaders, philanthropies, and faith communities that have all joined together in this quite remarkable way to combat this disease.

Let’s not stop now. Let’s keep focused on the future. And one of those futures that I hope we can be part of achieving is an AIDS-free generation. Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

29 September 2011
Tim Siegenbeek van Heukelom

“HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria are still Emergencies”

23 Septebmer 2011. A statement from the Communities Living with HIV, Tuberculosis and affected by Malaria Delegation of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

The Communities Living with HIV, Tuberculosis and affected by Malaria Delegation (Communities Delegation) of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) welcomes the report of the High-Level Independent Review Panel (HLP) and acknowledges the recommendations put forth in strengthening fiduciary controls and oversight mechanisms at all levels of the Global Fund, which are consistent with its values of transparency and accountability.

The comprehensive findings of the HLP is a result of six months of intensive work, and includes the review of 40 existing grants with a conclusion that all current weaknesses are opportunities that can be strengthened and improved.  The Board of the Global Fund will meet on the 26th September 2011, in Geneva, Switzerland to review and discuss the findings and recommendations, act on the most urgent issues and agree on a process to address and action the recommendations.

The Communities Delegation is deeply concerned, however, on how some of the findings of the HLP can be misconstrued.  The Global Fund has committed US$ 22.4 billion in over 150 countries to support large-scale prevention, treatment, care and support programmes against the three diseases.  This in practical terms translates to putting 3.2 million people on HIV treatment, treating 8.2 million people infected with Tuberculosis (TB), and 190 million bed-nets distributed to avert malaria infections.  Millions of lives have been saved, because of the work of the Global Fund and its partners, and this needs to be put into perspective.

During times of a massive financial crisis and instability in the biggest world economies, major Global Fund contributors could translate the outcomes of the report into excuses not to meet funding commitments.  The Global Fund needs the current and new donors to increase their contributions and pledges expressed at the Third Voluntary Replenishment Conference from US$ 11 billion to more than US$20 billion to ensure that efforts and gains made in the last decade can be effectively sustained.  The Global Fund is thus far, the only mechanism in existence that could invest these resources needed in life-saving interventions.  The report states, “the failure of the Global Fund would be a global health catastrophe”.

Currently, 15 million people living with HIV are in dire need to be on life-saving drugs; the case detection for TB globally is at 65%, with drug resistant TB spiralling faster; and malaria cases though contained might be at a risk of exploding if efforts are not preventive efforts are not sustained.  These are all emergencies that require immediate attention and extraordinary actions so as to benefit the very communities that we stand up for.

The Communities Delegation does not support the HLP suggestions to re-evaluate the Board decision on Round 11 funding, and proposals for new eligibility criteria.  The Board of the Global Fund needs to be able to discuss the impact, consequences and recommendations responsibly bearing in mind the tremendous ramifications these decision(s) will have on achieving MDGs 4, 5, and 6, and ultimately on the lives of communities.

Shared responsibility is at the core of partnerships, and the Global Fund is a unique funding mechanism andpartnership with an oversight and governance structure that includes multi-stakeholder participation at both global and national level.  The report provides a timely opportunity for both implementers and donors to not only make the money work, but also to demonstrate how it works.

We are dismayed with some disparaging and opportunistic public statements related to the leadership at the Global Fund Secretariat after the release of the HLP report, and would like to point out that the recent reappointment of the Executive Director proves the trust and confidence of the Board in his work.  The Communities Delegation has confidence in the leadership of the Executive Director, and would like to express our most sincere gratitude to staff at the Global Fund Secretariat for their tireless commitment and dedication to ensuring that lives are being saved across the three diseases.

The Communities Delegation reiterates its position of zero tolerance to corruption and the commitment to transparency and accountability.  We bring to the Global Fund Board the voices and needs of millions of people living with and affected by the three diseases, and together with the CivilSociety Constituencies on the Board of the Global Fund, we will remain vigilant to ensure that the most urgent changes in the structures, policies and processes of the Global Fund are implemented in order to continue saving lives.

We call for the responsible use of the public information released in the HLP report by media and governments and other partners, with a reminder that the challenges related to the three disease is an on-going emergency in many parts of the world.  We need to ensure that the recommendations of the Board, and its responses to these recommendations constantly place the lives of people at the centre of our discussions.

On behalf of the Communities Delegation,

Shaun Mellors
Board Member,
Communities Delegation

Lucy Chesire
Interim Alternate Board Member,
Communities Delegation

Rachel Ong
Communications Focal Point,
Communities Delegation

29 August 2011
Tim Siegenbeek van Heukelom

Reception by Pacific Friends & The University of New South Wales

On Monday 22 August 2011, Pacific Friends of the Global Fund was pleased to welcome Dr Christoph Benn, Director of External Relations at the Global Fund, to Australia.

Dr Benn’s two day visit started with a busy schedule in Canberra, where he met with a wide range of politicians, policymakers and NGO representatives. Discussions focused mostly on the strained financial environment in which the Global Fund’s largest donors are struggling to continue their funding at the same level. One of the reasons the Global Fund’s External Relations Director visited the Asia-Pacific was to get emerging economies more engaged in development aid, but also specifically in health and the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

The visit of Dr Benn coincided with the official reception to welcome Pacific Friends to the University of New South Wales on Tuesday 23 August at the UNSW campus in Kensington. Prior to the reception, Pacific Friends had invited key representatives from the academia, non-governmental organisations and the private sector to a round-table briefing with Christoph Benn. After a short presentation by Christoph on the present position of the Global Fun an interesting discussion ensued on the financial situation of the international community and the ramifications for the Global Fund.

The ensuing reception, hosted by Pacific Friends and the UNSW Foundation, to welcome Pacific Friends to UNSW as the new hosting institution was attended by close to a hundred people. In two short speeches by Bill Bowtell, Executive Director of Pacific Friends and Wendy McCarthy, Chair of Pacific Friends, the mission and purposes of Pacific Friends was outlined to the audience. Next Jennifer Bott, Chief Executive of the UNSW Foundation, welcomed Pacific Friends to UNSW. This was followed by Dr Christoph Benn who explained the nature of his work for the Global Fund and praised Pacific Friends for its successful support of the Global Fund. To conclude, Bill Whittaker thanked Dr Christoph Benn and Pauline Mazue from the Global Fund, Dianne Stewart and David Cook from the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, and the audience for the presence.

Pacific Friends operates as a program within the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales.

Pacific Friends

Professor Janice Reid AC
Bill Bowtell AO
Executive Director

Pacific Friends of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is a high-level advocacy organisation which seeks to mobilise regional awareness of the serious threat posed by HIV & AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria to societies and economies in the Pacific. In pursuing its goals Pacific Friends has a specific interest in highlighting the need to protect the rights of women and children in the Pacific.



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