IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 191, 23 July 2004
Tuesday 10 August 2004
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IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 191, 23 July 2004

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]


AFRICA: Expanded access to treatment provides prevention opportunities
AFRICA: Efforts to prevent unsafe abortions fall short
DJIBOUTI: Female peer educators trained in HIV/AIDS


1. Call for Proposals for Pact's Community REACH Project
2. Christian AIDS Resources



AFRICA: Expanded access to treatment provides prevention opportunities

Long-term success against AIDS requires the simultaneous expansion of both antiretroviral therapy (ART) and prevention, says a recently released report by The Global HIV Prevention Work Group.

In an era of increased access to HIV treatment there was an urgent need to integrate prevention into health care settings and adapt prevention strategies.

"Unless the incidence of HIV is sharply reduced, HIV treatment will not be able to keep pace with all those who will need therapy. For example, while the WHO/UNAIDS '3 by 5' initiative establishes the goal of having 3 million people on ART by 2005, 5 million new infections occur every year," said the report, 'HIV Prevention in the Era of Expanded Treatment Access'.

But all was not lost, because more widespread access to HIV treatment means that millions of people were entering health care settings, providing new opportunities for health care workers to deliver and reinforce HIV prevention messages and interventions.

More details

AFRICA: Efforts to prevent unsafe abortions fall short

Despite efforts to improve sexual and reproductive health across Africa, a new study has shown that over four million women undergo unsafe abortions each year and 34,000 of them die as a result.

In a recently released report, Ipas, an international women's health NGO, noted that 10 years after a landmark UN population conference in Cairo, Egypt, women in Africa continued to face "elevated risks" of dying from pregnancy-related causes, with unsafe abortion posing a particularly dangerous threat.

At the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICDP), 179 countries negotiated a "Programme of Action", which recognised the importance of preventing unsafe abortions through increased availability of contraceptive services and safe abortion care where this was legal.

While the report conceded that "very important strides" had been made in several areas, including contraceptive services and the quality and availability of emergency treatment for women who had undergone unsafe abortion, it found that many African women still turned to clandestine abortions, often with tragic results.

More details

DJIBOUTI: Female peer educators trained on HIV/AIDS

The Djiboutian ministry for the promotion of women is conducting training programmes in HIV/AIDS for female peer-educators, saying it is mainly targeting young women who are most vulnerable to infection.

Amina Abdi, the ministry's HIV programme manager, told PlusNews on Monday at the end of a three-day seminar to train 20 educators, that her ministry's HIV/AIDS programme would support behavioural change among young Djiboutian women.

"Young women aged between 16 and 27 are the most vulnerable. They are sexually active, often without work, they have low levels of education, and a low knowledge of HIV/AIDS. All these factors lead them to have occasional sexual relationships with different partners," Amina said.

The peer-educators were selected from all over the capital, Djiboutiville, and are expected to use the skills learnt during training to educate their peers on the dangers of HIV/AIDS.

More details


1. Call for Proposals for Pact's Community REACH Project

Pact's Community REACH Project is now accepting proposals from community-based NGOs with programmes that address prevention, care, and support for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Pact will award US $1.2 million across a maximum of seven programmes.

Project activities must be implemented in one or more of the following US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) countries: Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Guyana, Haiti, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.

The proposal deadline is 12 August 2004.

2. Christian AIDS Resources

The Christian AIDS Resources website offers words of encouragement, hope and love to people living with the HI virus and their loved ones.

The site has interesting tools and resources available for individuals and churches to begin HIV/AIDS ministries within their own communities or spheres of influence.


Recent AFRICA Reports
Removal of generic drugs from WHO list a wake-up call, 6/Aug/04
Campaign to create awareness on sexual offences law, 6/Aug/04
IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 193, 6 August 2004, 6/Aug/04
IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 192, 30 July 2004, 30/Jul/04
Interview with WHO Assistant Director General for Family and Community Health, 28/Jul/04

PlusNews is produced under the banner of RHAIN, the Southern African Regional HIV/AIDS Information Network. RHAIN's members currently include:

  • IRIN
  • Inter Press Service (IPS)
  • Health Systems Trust
  • Health & Development Networks
  • GTZ/Afronets

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