Browsing articles in "UNAIDS"
2 July 2013
Guest Contributor

Kenya and the Global Fund and UNAIDS Signal Partnership

Executive Director of the Global Fund, Mark Dybul, and Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibe, signing the grant agreements in Nairobi.

Executive Director of the Global Fund, Mark Dybul, and Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibe, signing the grant agreements in Nairobi. [UNAIDS Photo]

NAIROBI, Kenya – In a joint visit to Kenya, the leaders of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria signalled strong partnership to defeat infectious diseases including HIV and TB.

 Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund, and Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS, met with leaders in Kenya’s new government, as well as Civil Society Organizations and other partners.

 At a signing ceremony in Nairobi, two new grant agreements demonstrated a commitment to work together with partners. The grants, worth US$27 million, will support programs implemented jointly by the Ministry of Finance of Kenya and by AMREF, a civil society organization that has been working improving the health of African communities for over 50 years.

 “In Kenya, and in other countries, the most effective prevention often comes by reaching those most vulnerable to infection,” said Dr. Dybul. “We can be most effective when all partners are moving in the same direction.”

 The new grants will support programs that improve the quality of diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis, reduce diagnostic delays in vulnerable populations, and provide nutritional support to TB patients. They will also cover TB/HIV co-infected patients and particularly vulnerable populations, including prisoners, people living in informal settlements and mobile populations.

 “Kenya can have a profound effect on the AIDS response if it continues to lead in a people-centred approach to health” said Mr. Sidibe. “If all people in Kenya can access essential health services with dignity and without fear – then surely this country can tip the balance of the epidemic in Africa.”

 The UNAIDS Country office spent $420,000 on GFATM related work since 2010 with a focus on supporting the governance and oversight of the Kenya Coordinating Mechanism, as well as through technical support for the development of future grants and unblocking barriers in the flow of funds.  UNAIDS’ technical support helped to ensure the successful agreement between the Government of Kenya and the Global Fund for the implementation of its Round 10 grants of US$483 million.

 UNAIDS, the Global Fund and PEPFAR are working closely to support the Government of Kenya to eliminate new HIV infections among children and keep their mothers alive. Since 2009, Kenya has reduced new infections among children by 44 percent but still reported 13,000 new infections among children in 2012.

 Kenya is ranked 13th among the 22 high-burden TB countries in the world.  Since 1990, the absolute number of TB cases notified increased ten-fold in Kenya, as the TB case notification rates for all cases in Kenya has increased from below 50 per 100,000 in 1990 to 329 per 100,000 people in 2008.  The HIV epidemic is the most significant driver of the increase in the TB burden in Kenya.  In 2008, HIV testing among TB patients increased to 83 percent, with 45 percent being dually infected.

23 July 2012
Guest Contributor

International AIDS Conference launched in Washington, DC

The International AIDS Conference 2012 was launched last night in Washington, DC. Around 20,000 delegates from 200 countries are expected to attend, as a unique gathering of world leaders, academics, activists, policy makers and civil society join together to fortify a global effort to fight HIV & AIDS over the conference’s week-long proceedings.

AIDS 2012 comes at an opportune time, with UNAIDS releasing its latest report, ‘Together we will end AIDS’ on July 18. With a record 8 million people are now receiving antiretroviral therapy across the globe, the report provides the scope and size of the epidemic, and announces that more countries are now increasing their own share of investments for HIV. Dr Diane Havlir, an AIDS specialist from San Francisco spoke during the opening ceremony and said it would be “an extraordinary failure of global will and conscience” if the US government blocks federal funding. Dr Havlir said that we have the chance to “start to end AIDS”.

Here is a snapshot from the official AIDS 2012 conference trailer ‘Turning the Tide Together’:

Follow Pacific Friends as we provide live updates from our coverage of AIDS 2012 in Washington, DC here on our blog, Facebook and Twitter.

22 July 2012
Bill Bowtell

Michel Kazatchkine appointed by UN Secretary-General as Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS for Eastern Europe and Central Asia

On behalf of Pacific Friends, we warmly congratulate Michel Kazatchkine on his appointment as the United Nations Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Michel will bring his immense experience to assisting the nations of the region to confront what is probably the most difficult and challenging of all the regional HIV/AIDS epidemics.

We wish him all success as he takes up his new responsibilities.

Wendy McCarthy AO
Chair, Pacific Friends of the Global Fund

Bill Bowtell AO
Executive Director, Pacific Friends of the Global Fund

9 March 2012
Tim Siegenbeek van Heukelom

The first AIDS-free nation: New Zealand?

Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and now Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP, has challenged New Zealand to become the first country to wipe out the spread and stigma of HIV & AIDS. Moreover, she called upon the country for to increase awareness about safe sex, cautioning that New Zealanders are becoming complacent about the risks of HIV & AIDS. Together with UNAIDS executive director, Michel Sidibé, she stressed the point that a continued focus on HIV prevention work is absolutely critical and must not be compromised as a priority.

Helen Clark joins UNAIDS Executive Director Michael Sidibé to discuss the global fight against AIDS.

22 February 2012
Tim Siegenbeek van Heukelom

Michel Sidibé’s Charm Offensive Against AIDS

Pacific Friends is looking forward to welcome to Australia next month UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibé. In 2010 we already had the pleasure of a visit by Michel in which he spoke about the challenges and responses to the global HIV/AIDS pandemic.

This year’s Australian visit of the executive director comes just after The New York Times featured this week a wonderful article that chronicles Michel Sidibé’s so-called ‘charm offensive against AIDS’.

Michel Sidibe: A video interview with the executive director of UNAIDS on the importance of diplomacy and social change in fighting the AIDS epidemic. Source: The New York Times

Some excerpts from the not-to-be-missed article on The New York Times website:

With a combination of bonhomie and persistence, he has delivered difficult messages to African presidents very persuasively in his three years in office: Convince your men to get circumcised. Tell your teenage girls not to sleep with older men for money. Shelve your squeamishness and talk about condoms. Help prostitutes instead of jailing them. Ask your preachers to stop railing against homosexuals and order your police forces to stop beating them. Let Western scientists test new drugs and vaccines, despite the inevitable rumors that Africans are being used as guinea pigs.

Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, South Africa’s health minister, said Mr. Sidibe pursued him relentlessly at a United Nations conference in New York until they met. They became co-conspirators in getting Jacob Zuma, the country’s new president, to budget more money for AIDS drugs and to press drug companies to lower prices. “I was new to my office, and this man was just chasing me,” Dr. Motsoaledi said. “He insisted South Africa must take leadership on AIDS for Africa. I said: ‘What about Botswana?’ But he insisted.”

In a major speech in 2010, Mr. Zuma increased the national AIDS budget by 30 percent and, along with Mr. Sidibe, publicly took an AIDS test.

Globally, Mr. Sidibé says, he is trying to “be a voice for those without one.” The groups that most need help, he argues, are the ones that no politician wants to be photographed with: gay men, prostitutes, transvestites, heroin users.

Mr. Sidibé has also fought hard against harsh anti-gay laws in Africa, against hate crimes like the “corrective rapes” of lesbians by South African gangs — and against the widespread belief that homosexuality is a Western import.

“If we can win this one,” Mr. Sidibé will say, “I can go back home and sit under my mango tree and feel proud.”

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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