Updated: Oct 8
We are heading into our final month of the HIV2020 Online conference! This global event has brought together thousands of activists and community advocates for critical discussions about the future of the HIV response.
Check out our latest sessions here:
Community Advocacy: How we Innovate and Mobilize
September 1, 2020 | Session Co-Organizers: Aidsfonds & Frontline AIDS
This session highlighted the importance of community advocacy in making HIV responses more effective, equitable and inclusive for all. The challenges faced in different key population communities can be quite similar in areas such as criminalization, stigma and discrimination. Working and mobilizing together, and beyond silos, therefore can be essential for advocacy efforts and impact. Strong
advocacy, meanwhile, relies on having a strong civil society with community leadership focused on reclaiming the rights of key populations. Other observations from the session included the importance of building trust, giving people ownership of their issues, and using evidence in advocacy.
Soliciting for Change: Understanding the impacts of the Swedish model and full decriminalization of sex work
September 3, 2020 | Session Co-Organizers: ICRSE & Scarlet Alliance
This session, co-hosted by ICRSE and Scarlet Alliance, discussed how sex work criminalization models, including the Swedish model, only serve to increase violence against sex workers, limit their ability to work safely, and restrict their access to health care, justice, and social support. Speakers from sex worker activist networks across Europe shared their experiences working under criminalization and made the case for full decriminalization. The session also showcased how a grassroots, rights-
focused, sex-worker led campaign successfully achieved full decriminalization of sex work in the Northern Territory of Australia.
Data from the Ground Up: Scaling up community-led data collection, management and analysis
September 8, 2020 | Session Co-Organizers: Caribbean Vulnerable Communities, Global Health Centre Graduate Institute, UNAIDS, Trans Este Podemos Avanzar, GrenCHAP
The session focused on how and why communities of people living with and vulnerable to HIV should be involved in collecting and highlighting data that can help to influence more effective HIV responses that reach all in need. Having reliable population size estimates and behavioral data on key populations, women and girls is increasingly important in making the case for funding and services to be better targeted to them. Through discussion and the presentation of two case studies from Latin America and the Caribbean, the session explored how can communities gather their own data, preserve anonymity for those at risk, and retain control of the data – while also using it to ensure services are funded to reach those most in need.
Overcoming legal barriers as a mechanism for the struggle for rights of vulnerable populations in the EECA region
September 10, 2020 | Session Co-Organizers: ENPUD
People who inject drugs are among the communities most affected by HIV in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) due to repressive drug policies. As discussed in the session, the Eurasian Network of People who Use Drugs (ENPUD) is seeking to help improve the situation through activities such as monitoring human rights violations and using the collected data to inform the agenda of key donors and technical partners, including by contributing to the content of national applications for Global Fund grants.
One important observation by participants was that harm reduction work among people who use drugs (PUD) with a focus on HIV prevention is not enough to address their problems. Complex programs that address their human rights-related challenges and ensure their access to essential health services and treatment, including in detention facilities, need to be implemented throughout the EECA region.
Not Just Subjects of Research!
September 15, 2020 | Session Co-Organizers: Aidsfonds
In this session, Aidsfonds discusses the value of community-based participatory research (CBPR) for donors, academics, policy makers and communities. To understand and respond effectively to the challenges of addressing HIV among key populations, it is crucial that they themselves represent their own realities and fully participate in dialogues and decision making around HIV policies and programs that affect them. This is equally important when it comes to research.
HIV, Drugs and Positive Women in Response
September 22, 2020 | Session Co-Organizers: LANPUD
The session focused on how the intersection of women, HIV and drugs in Latin America and the Caribbean is experienced in terms of discrimination, criminalization and social exclusion. Panelists discussed many of the challenges women who use drugs and/or live with HIV face in areas such as access to health services without discrimination, abuse and violence by the police, and the rise in women incarcerated due to tough anti-drug laws. They also identified several changes that could help
to make things better, including policies that lead to more consistent access to harm reduction services, more flexible drug regulations, and a recognition that incarceration of women does not reduce drug traffic.
Also stressed was the reality that women who use drugs are diverse (cis and trans women, mothers, sex workers, young and elder, etc.) and that they are searching for more influence and participation in public policies in Latin America and Caribbean.
The Nine Genders, A Re-introduced Indigenous Way of Organizing Gender
September 24, 2020 | Session Co-Organizers: Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network
What is gender and how does the concept differ across cultures and people? This question was at the centre of a discussion around Nine Genders, a re-introduced indigenous way of organizing gender. This teaching moves beyond normative gender binaries to present gender as a relationship between physical body and spirit. Three speakers from Canadian indigenous communities shared their personal stories of being ‘two spirit’ and shared how their acceptance of this teaching has helped them to break down gender binaries, find freedom and self-acceptance, and work to build more inclusive and equal societies.
Film & Discussion: KOKH (A Womb)
September 28, 2020 | Session Co-Organizers: Friends Affected and Infected Together in Hand (FAITH)
In commemoration of International Safe Abortion Day, a short advocacy film about the promotion of safe abortion rights among female sex workers in Nepal was presented and discussed. Titled ‘Kokh – A Womb’, the film shines a light on their lived realities, including the challenges of raising and protecting a family; risks such as violence, including rape; and access to information and friendly sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services.
The film is an example of a new and different approach to advocacy that focuses on art, culture, music and films that create awareness, evoke emotions, provide a human face and tell stories of marginalized communities.
Now more than ever: New strategies to fight back for HIV prevention
September 29, 2020 | Session Co-Organizers: Frontline AIDS
Even before COVID-19, the world was failing to meet global targets on HIV prevention. 2020 is the deadline for the fast track targets, when new HIV infections should be dropping below 500,000 per year. Instead, the most recent estimates from UNAIDS show that the number of people acquiring HIV is flatlining at 1.7 million in 2018. This is a failure of epic proportions - particularly for key populations and adolescent girls and young women, who continue to be left behind.
Under lockdown, women and girls face higher risks of infection, yet most can no longer access HIV or SRHR services. For key populations, COVID-19 restrictions are being used to further harass, abuse, and imprison those who are already criminalised, while lifesaving services have disappeared overnight.
Make sure to subscribe to our channel on Youtube and follow us on Soundcloud to get notified when recordings of our online sessions are available. And don't forget to register for all of our amazing upcoming sessions through the month of October!