Saturday, June 23, 2007

India: Driving forward an effective AIDS response

Updates from the UNAIDS Website...

As India launches its National AIDS Control Plan III-widely recognized as being the most effective AIDS plan India has had - UNAIDS underlines India’s potential to ‘set an example for the rest of the world’.
Read more

Monday, June 18, 2007

Night of Solidarity With People living with or affected by HIV and for Access to Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support

Church of Santa Maria Magdalena
2 June 2007
Reflection on Romans 8:31b-39

By Rev. Robert J. Vitillo
Special Advisor on HIV and AIDS, Caritas Internationalis

To an uneducated ear, the reading that we just heard might give the impression that St. Paul was looking into a crystal ball in order to predict our present-day challenges as he speaks about “anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword”. These, and many more human sufferings, will be the contents of our reflections and debates during the General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis which will begin tomorrow. These same dilemmas, I am quite sure, dominated as well the thoughts and prayers at the respective meetings of the Unions of Superiors General convened here in Rome some weeks ago. For millions of people with whom we gather in solidarity this evening, these also are the root causes of vulnerability to infection with HIV.

Download the entire homily/article (PDF file) here.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Caritas adviser on AIDS says church contribution gaining recognition

By Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Catholic Church's contribution to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and offering care of those hit by the pandemic is slowly being recognized on the world stage, said Caritas Internationalis' special adviser on HIV/AIDS.

U.S. Father Robert Vitillo told Catholic News Service June 6 that there is, however, still a widespread perception in some circles that the church "is somehow an obstacle to HIV/AIDS education and care."

"Sometimes the church is too humble in talking about the services we sponsor, and I think that's why for many," especially within the media, "they think the church only says 'No' to condoms" and does nothing constructive in the fight against HIV, he said.

Read the rest of the article here.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

AIDS at the G8

Updates from the UNAIDS Website...
As the world’s leaders meet this week in Heiligendamm, Germany for the 2007 Group of Eight (G8) Summit, UNAIDS urges bold and decisive leadership from G8 countries on AIDS issues.

UNAIDS press statement (en | fr | es | ru)
New report on G8, EC and other donor AIDS financing
Visit the G8 web site
Visit the G8 AIDS Campaigning web site

Friday, June 8, 2007

Philippine Report Card on HIV Prevention for Girls

A six-part poster creatively prepared by youth representatives from all over the country attending the 2-day symposium (5-6 June 2007) sponsored by different national agencies headed by the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP) entitled "Country Level Action for the Report Card: Champions against AIDS Neglect" or CLARC CAN.

The symposium tackled the contents and recommendations of the 2006 Philippine Report Card which were jointly prepared by International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS.

Here's the summary and link to the Report Card.

Reportcard_Philippines Philippines
Half of the population of the Philippines are 21 years or under. An increasing number of young people are engaging in premarital sex and often have multiple partners, without using any form of protection. A third of women have their first child by 21.
Download full research dossier here (345KB PDF)

“Stigma or solidarity?” – Caritas Europa contributes to efforts of Caritas Internationalis on HIV/AIDS

Interview with Andrij Waskowycz, President of Caritas Ukraine at the 18th General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis. By Annalisa Mazzella, Advocacy and Communication Officer of Caritas Europa

Vatican City, 6 June 2007 – Having been recognised for barely 25 years, HIV has become one of the most formidable infectious agents confronting modern medicine. It is now the fourth greatest cause of death worldwide and, in Africa, the primary cause of death among adults. During recent years, Caritas Internationalis has intensified activities in this area, promoting a compassionate response that includes care, support, education, and anti-retroviral treatment.

Following the line of Caritas Internationalis, Caritas Europa has recently organised the Conference “Stigma or Solidarity? New Challenges for the Church Response to HIV/AIDS”. This took place on 24-26 April 2007 in Kiev (Ukraine), organised in collaboration with Caritas Ukraine and co-sponsored by several organisations. Andrij Waskowycz, President of Caritas Ukraine, is among the more than 300 Caritas delegates to the General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis taking place this week in St Peter’s. We asked him about HIV/AIDS in Europe.

Andrij, could you describe the importance of the HIV/AIDS phenomenon in Europe?

While Sub-Saharan Africa continues to shoulder the greatest burden of HIV, alarming numbers have already been observed in Europe, especially in the Central and Eastern part. In Ukraine , annual HIV diagnoses have almost doubled since 2000. The number of people estimated be living with the virus in 2005 was calculated at 410,000. Unfortunately, physicians are not yet trained in the necessary therapies. Also, the country is unprepared in terms of social implications and funding for relevant programmes.

Read more here.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Leading Web Resource for HIV in Different Languages

Leading Web Resource for HIV, TB and Malaria Information Now Available in French, Spanish, Russian, Hindi and Simplified Chinese provides journalists and others across the globe with up-to-date global health statistics, overviews, country-specific information and the latest news

Menlo Park, CA - Updated daily with the latest information on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria,, a free Web site for global health news, reports and data, is now available in French, Spanish, Russian, Hindi and simplified Chinese. This free Web site is operated by the Kaiser Family Foundation with major support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

As the amount of information on HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria grows, staying abreast of the latest news, statistics and reports becomes increasingly challenging. is designed to help journalists and others cut through the wealth of information to efficiently search the latest and most accurate news and facts about global health.

"Through, we're able to get the latest health news and developments to journalists and others in many of the hardest-hit regions of the world," said Kaiser Family Foundation President and CEO Drew E. Altman, Ph.D. "With our resources now available in multiple languages, the power of that information is magnified."

With portions of the Web site now available in six languages, more journalists, as well as researchers, policymakers and NGOs across the globe can access the information, which includes:

  • Current regional and global statistics on HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria including the number of new cases and people living with the diseases.
  • An overview of the three diseases and frequently asked questions.
  • Language-specific and region-specific reporting guides on HIV/AIDS which provide glossaries and basic facts, and address the challenges of reporting on HIV/AIDS, treatment and prevention strategies, and global financing efforts.
  • Country spotlights for more than 60 countries, providing a snapshot of the diseases’ impact, recent news stories and resources, with other countries added on a bi-weekly basis. (Provided in English only).
  • Country-level data on HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria and other emerging health problems such as avian flu, displayed in color-coded maps and charts are available on the companion Web site, (Provided in English only).
  • Daily summaries of news from around the world (featured in the Weekly TB and Malaria Report), links to new reports, webcasts from key global health organizations and a calendar of upcoming events related to HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria and health journalism. (Provided in English only).
Sign up to receive free weekly email alerts with updates about what's new in global health and the weekly news summary report, the Weekly TB and Malaria Report. We also encourage you to forward this notice to others who might be interested in and invite you to include a link to from your organization's Web site. Linking instructions can be found online.

The Kaiser Family Foundation is a non-profit, private operating foundation dedicated to providing information and analysis on health care issues to policymakers, the media, the health care community and the general public. The Foundation is not associated with Kaiser Permanente or Kaiser Industries.