AIDS 2010 message: ‘One cannot succeed without the other’
AIDS 2010, the XVIII International AIDS Conference (IAC), the premier gathering for those working in the field of HIV and AIDS, took place in Vienna in mid-July, and FCI was there. Globally, AIDS and pregnancy-related complications are the two leading causes of death for women of reproductive age, and this was an opportunity to highlight the urgent need for a rights-based, integrated approach to health — one that links sexual and reproductive health, including maternal health, with HIV. FCI president Ann Starrs was on the scene to strengthen partnerships between the reproductive, maternal and child health and HIV/AIDS communities, and to promote the Joint Action Plan for Women's and Children's Health, a historic global effort to accelerate progress on women's and children's health, launched this year by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
At a special opening-day session titled HIV and the Millennium Development Goals: Can We Do One Without the Other?, Ann’s presentation set the stage for a spirited discussion of programs, policies, and funding. Panelists included U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Eric Goosby; senior officials from WHO, the Brazilian health ministry, and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and a prominent Nigerian health activist. A webcast of the session can be viewed here.
In her remarks, Ann made it clear that effective integration of care requires significantly increased resources. “An integrated approach,” she argued, “is not an excuse for reducing the funding or even for keeping the funding at the level that it’s at now. The needs are tremendous, and we’ve got to push, as a community, for greater funding for integrated approaches.” FCI’s message hit home with the conference audience: during the Q&A, several participants pushed panelists to commit to integrated approaches to health programming and funding. One, a youth organizer from India, noted that “it’s a refreshing change when a health system looks at me as a young woman and not just as a series of diseases that need to be treated.”
Read about the Global Fund's December 2010 board decision to move forward on engagement with MNCH
Learn more about FCI's work for integration of global health funding and services.
Read about FCI's global advocacy.