January 2015

Africa and the Middle East

In South Africa, HIV-Positive Mothers Help Others Fight AIDS

Asia and the Pacific

Cambodian Parliament Panel to Summon Health Minister over HIV Infections


China Stresses Protection of AIDS Children's Privacy


'India Can Be AIDS-Free Nation by 2030'


AUSTRALIA -- Overseas Aid Cuts Will Impact HIV Prevention Work - AFAO 

Europe and Eurasia

Europe and Central Asia Failing to Curb Spread of HIV: WHO


Russia May Face a Shortage of Drugs Against HIV 

Latin America and the Caribbean

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: Doc: More Tobago Youths Getting HIV 


Latin American Babies Born with HIV Decline by 78%, Says WHO


More Caribbean People Receiving Antiretroviral Treatment for HIV 

North America

CHINA -- Interview: China Looks to Canadian Province in Fight Against HIV/AIDS


US Announces Protections for Transgender Workers


Canada Needs a New Game Plan to Eradicate HIV


UNITED STATES -- FDA Eases 31-Year Ban on Blood Donations from Gay Men 


Overcoming HIV Obstacles in 2015


Fast Track to 2030: Granularity at a Global Scale


UNAIDS and the Global Fund Strengthen Collaboration to Fast-Track the Response to AIDS


People Who Inject Drugs Must Not Be Left Behind 


Funding Research in Africa  


AdvocateAdvocate Focus
Photo courtesy of Denise Namburete

Denise Namburete, Executive Director, N'weti Health Communication


"Without a legal platform to assist women who suffer from domestic violence, behavior change alone will not lead to societal change. To address this, N'weti developed an advocacy campaign involving civil society partners, led the campaign's media advocacy component, and produced a number of media segments for various outlets to build public pressure on Parliament to pass the 2009 domestic violence bill, which includes harsher punishments for domestic violence." --Denise Namburete

Denise Namburete is the executive director of N'weti Health Communication, a nongovernmental organization based in Maputo, Mozambique, that uses social and behavioral change (SBC) practice, policy, and advocacy to address the health needs of Mozambique's adolescent population. Namburete develops and implements programs to change social norms and behaviors related to a variety of health and gender issues, including discrimination and gender-based violence.


PolicyPolicy Analysis

AIDS Response Is Leaving African Men Behind

Inter Press Service




As described in this article, HIV testing, treatment, and care strategies continue to neglect men in Africa, where the HIV response has disproportionally reached women. It also describes the cultural understandings of masculinity that prevent men from seeking health services. The author calls for increased attention to issues affecting men's access to healthcare and emphasizes the roles of advocacy and policy change in providing necessary services to men living with HIV. 

European HIV Response "Falling Behind" as Eastern European Epidemic Grows





This article summarizes key points from a December 2014 intergovernmental meeting on European standards of care for HIV and co-infections, organized by the European AIDS Clinical Society. Important themes addressed included the rising HIV burden in Eastern Europe and inadequate implementation of regional HIV treatment, prevention, and care strategies; testing and diagnostic improvements needed to reach the 90-90-90 target; and tuberculosis and hepatitis C as co-infections. 

Congress Adds $300 Million to PEPFAR for FY15, in Bill Global Health Advocates Say Recognizes Critical Needs

Science Speaks




A new blog post from Science Speaks discusses the new $4.3 billion PEPFAR budget for fiscal year 2015 (FY15), recently approved as part of the Congressional spending bill. It constitutes an increase of $300 million over the previous fiscal year, and an increase over the amount requested by President Obama in his FY15 proposed budget. 

Supporting PEPFAR Guyana Transition Planning for HIV Prevention, Care, and Support Services in the NGO Sector

Health Policy Project




This assessment, conducted by the USAID- and PEPFAR-funded Health Policy Project, documents current capacity gaps in Guyana's HIV service provision. It analyzes HIV- and AIDS-related nongovernmental organizations, relevant private sector entities, the Ministry of Health, and the National AIDS Program Secretariat to identify additional needs in support of the transition of HIV services from donors to the country. 

ResourcesNew Resources: Models, Tools, and Research 

Innovative Programmatic Approaches to HIV Prevention and Care Services for Gay Men, Other Men who Have Sex with Men (MSM) and Transgender Persons Using Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Digital Culture & Education




This special issue of Digital Culture & Education presents innovative uses of information and communications technology (ICT) to expand HIV prevention and treatment services for gay men, other men who have sex with men, and transgender persons at a time when these populations are experiencing an alarming increase in new HIV infections. The articles in this issue explore potential global uses of ICT across a range of settings and a variety of methods, and call for increased investment in ICT. 

A New Technology to Support HIV Prevention

Population Services International




A blog post from Population Services International highlights the potential benefits and challenges of PrePex, a new voluntary male medical circumcision (VMMC) device currently under review by the World Health Organization. The device, which can be applied and removed by health professionals in a matter of minutes, eliminates the need for a surgeon and reduces both the costs and risks associated with VMMC. 

Making Data Count in the HIV Response: Thailand's AIDS Zero Portal

Health Policy Project




This case study presents Thailand's experience in implementing the AIDS Zero Portal (AZP)--a publicly accessible online dashboard of national HIV data--and its initial impact at the national and provincial levels. The AZP offers a potential model for other countries looking to institutionalize and leverage information systems as part of their routine monitoring and evaluation, strategic planning, and resource allocation efforts. 


Appeal to Global Donors to Save the Treatment Action Campaign

The Lancet




In an open letter to donors, HIV researchers appeal to prevent the closure of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) in South Africa, which is at risk due to funding difficulties. The letter highlights TAC's contributions to South Africa's HIV response and emphasizes the need for civil society oversight and accountability in ensuring the continued provision of high-quality HIV services. 

Universities' Role in Public Health Advocacy: A Sample of Models and Practices

Health Policy Project




This brief provides examples of universities around the world that have advocated for evidence-based decision making. Given the recent trend of universities generating and disseminating relevant knowledge to benefit decisionmakers, the brief provides recommendations for academic and nonacademic entities to bring about policy change together. 

InterviewInterview with Denise Namburete

HIV Policy and Advocacy Monitor: How did N'weti become involved in policy and advocacy activities?


N'weti began in 2007 with a focus on applying social and behavioral change (SBC) to a variety of public health issues, as well as their relation to gender and human rights. However, as we began implementing SBC programs, we recognized the need to also strengthen Mozambique's health policies and reduce the policy barriers that prevent people from adequately accessing health services.



HIV Policy and Advocacy Monitor: What examples in your work specifically address these policy barriers?


N'weti's work on behalf of women who suffer from domestic violence is a good example. While the organization has educated women about available services, prior to 2009 many were still unable to access legal protection and care options because the police did not consider domestic violence a crime. Without a legal platform to assist women who suffer from domestic violence, behavior change alone will not lead to societal change. To address this, N'weti developed an advocacy campaign involving civil society partners, led the campaign's media advocacy component, and produced a number of media segments for various outlets to build public pressure on Parliament to pass the 2009 Bill on Domestic Violence, which includes harsher punishments for domestic violence.



HIV Policy and Advocacy Monitor: What other policies is N'weti working to advance?


N'weti has successfully advocated on behalf of laws protecting people living with HIV in the workplace, as well as vulnerable children. We also achieved the inclusion of strategies in the Mozambican National AIDS Plan that identify the issue of high HIV transmission risk with multiple concurrent partners.


As a member of the National Budget Monitor Forum in 2014, N'weti has monitored the implementation of the state budget, paying particular attention to transparency and accountability on broader health sector policies. We have coordinated with other civil society organizations, designed and distributed messaging, and used data to demonstrate the value of directing funding toward the areas of greatest need, including education and child immunization.



HIV Policy and Advocacy Monitor: What challenges do organizations like N'weti face when conducting policy and advocacy activities?


N'weti has faced challenges in discussions with policymakers due to our limited access to evidence for our advocacy efforts. Our complaints to the Ministry of Health are often ignored because we lack the necessary data to demonstrate the existence of the problems we are trying to solve. To remedy this, we now systematically collect data for our advocacy work. In partnership with the Health Policy Project (through the PEPFAR-funded Local Capacity Initiative), we have expanded data collection to monitor health service provision and medication stockouts. Once the data are analyzed, we expect to use our analysis to develop an advocacy strategy targeting the government to improve the quality of services and avoid stockouts.



HIV Policy and Advocacy Monitor: What are the most important HIV policy issues in Mozambique?


HIV policy issues are directly linked to broader health sector issues in Mozambique. Currently, health sector budgeting does not follow policy priorities, and the country is not in a position to determine whether money is directed toward the greatest need. For example, there is little data on whether malaria or HIV and AIDS receive appropriate responses or adequate funding. Until there is greater budget transparency that follows policy priorities, we cannot address other policy challenges. 


The USAID- and PEPFAR-funded Health Policy Project's HIV Policy and Advocacy Monitor is a monthly newsletter focusing on the advancement, development, and analysis of policies, advocacy campaigns and organizations, and policy-related data to inform the response to HIV and AIDS at the global, national, and local levels. It includes news items, resources, advocacy reports, and innovative policy analyses on a wide range of topics such as treatment, key populations issues, gender, and financing for HIV policies and programs.


If you would like to suggest an item for inclusion in the next issue, please send it to: [email protected].