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July 20, 2014

What does AIDS2014 mean to you ?

Global Village Connect

What does AIDS2014 mean to you ?

Dr. Peter Singer, CEO of the global health organization Grand Challenges Canada, put it best in this tweet: 

Every human life is precious but when we lose those dedicated to saving lives we suffer a double loss.

 AIDS researchers, activists and advocates en route to the 20th International AIDS conference in Melbourne, Australia are among those believed to have perished on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was shot down over Ukraine on Thursday.
This Is What The Victims Of Flight 17 Did For AIDS Research
his is an excerpt from Michael Kirby's Jonathan Mann Memorial Lecture delivered at the International AIDS conference in Melbourne on Sunday.

We who gather at this conference in Melbourne are no strangers to cruelty and loss. We know about suffering, irrationality and hatred. We have not been free of these forces for a single day since HIV/AIDS first appeared in our midst 30 years ago.  

Every one of us can tell stories about horrible acts and brutal conduct that have added to the misery and danger faced by people living with HIV and by those who love and care for them. We know of people who have died, or are dying, of AIDS. Who are seeking love and the human right to respect and to life-saving healthcare. We know many who are denied justice and human empathy. We are here to affirm that there is another path. We point the way. It is why we have come to Melbourne. It is why we must lift our voices. This is not a time for silence.

In the immediate loss of friends and colleagues, who were coming to the conference on MH17, we are reminded, most cruelly, of the earlier death of Jonathan Mann: the first director of the Global Program on AIDS of the World Health Organisation. This inspired humanitarian, who did so much to alert the world to the dangers of AIDS, perished with his wife and a plane full of passengers off St John’s, Newfoundland on 1998. He too was on his way to a conference on AIDS. He too had precious gifts to impart. It was a terrible loss to us and to the world. His memory drives us on.
 The exact number of people who were headed to the conference is still unknown, but various AIDS organizations from around the globe began to eulogize the lives that were lost shortly after the crash was confirmed.
 Scientist Joep Lange of the Netherlands, who has researched the AIDS virus almost since its discovery, was among the first identified as a passenger on the flight, as was his colleague and partner Jacqueline van Tongeren, who was head of communications at Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development, reports the Associated Press.
World Health Organization spokesman Glenn Thomas is also among the dead, confirmed WHO, as well as three Dutch AIDS activists and advocates, reports the Washington Post. They are Lucie van Mens, Martine de Schutter of Bridging the Gaps, and Pim de Kuijer of Stop AIDS Now.

An estimated 35.3 million people around the world are living with HIV/AIDS. The deaths of these AIDS researchers and activists is a huge loss to the international AIDS community and the world at large, as they broke new ground in terms of medical treatment for patients, led public health and policy efforts and worked to de-stigmatize the disease.
Pim de Kuijer
At the time of his death, Pim de Kuijer was a lobbyist at STOP AIDS NOW!, a Dutch organization aimed at stopping the spread of AIDS in developing countries. According to the organization’s website, de Kuijer's department lobbies Dutch and European governments to develop an international, comprehensive and sustainable response to AIDS.
Aside from his work in support of HIV/AIDS research, de Kuijer worked as an election observer in Kosovo, Egypt and Ukraine, his brother Paul de Kuijer told the New York Times.
“He was an outspoken advocate on human rights, especially the position of women in society and position of gays in society,” his brother added.

Mr. Truss - "There is no place for stigma and discrimination"

We brought a group of young people together - both HIV positive and HIV negative - and watched some heartwarming moments unfold!  
With heightened risks of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, sex workers face substantial barriers in accessing prevention, treatment, and care services, largely because of stigma, discrimination, and criminalisation in the societies in which they live. These social, legal, and economic injustices contribute to their high risk of acquiring HIV. Often driven underground by fear, sex workers encounter or face the direct risk of violence and abuse daily. Sex workers remain underserved by the global HIV response. This Series of seven papers aims to investigate the complex issues faced by sex workers worldwide, and calls for the decriminilisation of sex work, in the global effort to tackle the HIV/AIDS epidemic. 
One of the main arguments of those who oppose any attempt to criminalise prostitution is that it simply drives the industry underground, putting the sex workers in a more vulnerable position.
Pye Jakobsson a spokeswoman for the Rose Alliance, representing Swedish sex workers, says: "You can't talk about protecting sex workers as well as saying the law is good, because it's driving prostitution and trafficking underground, which reduces social services' access to victims."
  Prostitution and the operation of brothels is legal in some countries, but illegal in others. In countries where prostitution or the operation of brothels is illegal or socially looked down on, establishments providing sex services may describe themselves as massage parlors, bars, strip clubs, saunas, spas or by some other description

The laws on prostitution in Sweden make it illegal to buy sexual services, but not to sell them. Pimping, procuring and operating a brothel are also illegal. The criminalisation of the purchase, but not selling, of sex was unique when first enacted in 1999, but since then Norway and Iceland have adopted similar legislation, both in 2009, and France began enacting a similar law in 2013.

 Sexwork is real work
  Researchers: Decriminalized Prostitution in Rhode Island Led to Fewer Rape, Gonorrhea Cases #sexworker #sexwork
Stepping up the pace: ’s Poz Action leads the way!
 Australian Prime Minister - "We will prevail together"

Ayu Oktariani - "All people living with HIV must be treated with respect and dignity as human beings'  

Ayu Oktariani - "HIV cannot be solved by science alone. We need people living with HIV in response"  

 This year Global Village Connect is offering people from all corners of the globe the chance to be involved in the AIDS 2014 Global Village.  This online initiative will offer an opportunity for people who can’t attend the conference to participate in its activities. Using interactive technology, it will enable our global audience to connect with key events held in the Global Village at AIDS 2014. The initiative will include:  

How to get involved?
Global Participation Q&A Sessions: For a number of selected Global Village sessions we are gathering questions from interested people who are not able to attend the conference. A number of these questions will be asked during the question and answer section of these sessions at the conference. The session will be filmed and broadcast on the AIDS 2014 YouTube channel.  For details on the selected sessions, click here

Global Village Connect Webinar Series
Presenters from selected Global Village sessions will participate in a 60 minute webinar following their sessions at the conference. They will provide an overview of the issue covered and key developments in the session. Participants in the webinar will then have the opportunity to ask questions and engage in a real time moderated discussion via the WebEx platform. For details on the webinar session, including dates, times and registration, click here.

Global Village Highlights Video: A 10-15 minute highlights video will be broadcast at the end of each day of the conference on the AIDS 2014 YouTube Channel.

Female Condoms at a Glance 

RIP Lucie van Mens
a champion for the female condom
In a field that prioritized male condoms for the prevention of HIV/AIDS transmission, Lucie van Mens championed the female condom. At the time of her death, she was a Director of Program Development and Support for the Female Health Company, a female condom manufacturer based in Chicago.
She started researching HIV/AIDS and STIs back in 1995, according to a press release. Van Mens also worked as a coordinator for Universal Access to Female Condoms, a partnership that included Oxfam Novib, Rutgers WPF and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the organization STOP AIDS NOW
The female condom is a form of birth control that helps prevent pregnancy and reduce the spread of STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) and HIV / AIDS. How does a female condom work? Female condoms can be used for vaginal sex or anal sex. A female condom is a plastic pouch with flexible rings at each end that is inserted into the vagina or anus with the outside ring staying on the exterior of the vaginal or anal opening during sexual intercourse. 

Some people define abstinence as not having vaginal intercourse when a woman might get pregnant. This is better described as periodic abstinence, which is one of the fertility awareness-based methods of birth control.
And some people define abstinence as not having any kind of sex play with a partner. This is the definition we use on these pages.
Being continuously abstinent is the only way to be absolutely sure that you won't have an unintended pregnancy or get an STD.
- See more at:

 Female Condoms at a Glance

  • A pouch inserted into the vagina to prevent pregnancy
  • Reduces the risk of sexually transmitted infection
  • Can be used for vaginal and anal intercourse
  • Safe, effective, and convenient
  • Easy to get
- See more at:
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