May 2010

High Level Meeting on Universal Access in Eastern and Southern Africa

Access to antiretroviral therapy: the road aheadIn mid 2009 the APPG began to push for some formal recognition on the part of the Government that 2010 - the target date for Universal Access - was going to be reached, without the goal having been acheived.

We called for renewed commitment and leadership on the part of the Government to accelerate progress toward Universal Access. The International AIDS Society called for the same.

Advocates for Action

This meeting, organised by Students Partnership Worldwide, launched a new advocacy toolkit – designed to support those lobbying decision-makers to put the sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRH&R) of young people on the international agenda. Speakers included DFID Minister, Gillian Merron and young sexual health activists from the UK, Zambia and the European Youth Network on Sexual and Reproductive Rights.

Aid effectiveness in Sexual and Reproductive health

This meeting was organised by Interact Worldwide, Action for Global Health and Countdown 2015 and the APPG on Population Development and Reproductive Health. It looked at progress towards the health Millennium Development Goals and called for the greater integration between sexual and reproductive health issues and HIV/AIDS. Speakers included the head of the HIV team at DFID, Malcolm McNeil, and Dia Timmermans from the UN family Planning Association.

Launch of the Government’s new AIDS strategy.

This meeting was chaired by the APPG Chairman, Neil Gerrard, in Lancaster House. The Secretary of State presented the new strategy and then Gillian Merron MP and Malcolm McNeil of DFID supported him in answering questions from guests. There was a video message from Peter Piot of UNAIDS. In the afternoon a special smaller meeting was held with Gillian Merron and members of the APPG to go through the new strategy in detail.

What is HIV Care and Support?

As more people benefit from anti-retroviral medicines in the developing world, more people with AIDS live longer and require continuing support to manage their condition and take their medication properly. Medicines therefore need to go hand in hand with care and support. This event, chaired by Sally Joss, from the UK Consortium on AIDS and International Development featured speakers from VSO, Mildmay Hospital and the Care and Support Working Group of the Consortium. It looked at what a comprehensive package of care and support should include.

Roundtable on Late Diagnosis of HIV

Notes from the Roundtable Discussion on the Late Diagnosis of HIV 10th November 2008In 2007-08 NHS London set itself the target of halving the incidence of late diagnosis of HIV - defined as people with HIV having a CD4 count of less than 200 - by 2010/11. At this meeting London’s Sexual Health Programme Director, Hong Tan, gave a presentation on the target to a small group of clinicians/ NHS staff from England's different Strategic Health Authorities, MPs, and NGO representatives.

HIV and Health Systems Strengthening

This event launched the Stop AIDS Campaign’s new paper on the above topic.  As the government moves increasingly towards funding health systems strengthening and away from targeted disease specific programmes, this meeting highlighted the key concerns this raises for HIV, TB and malaria programmes and suggested ways to advance general health systems goals without threatening the achievements that have been made through disease specific approaches.For a PDF of the HIV and Health Systems Strengthening paper please email oakeshottv@parliament.uk.

The Review of the National Strategy on Sexual Health and HIV: Key conclusions and where next?

This meeting was a joint meeting of the APPG on AIDS and the All Party Parliamentary Pro-Choice and Sexual Health Group.

The 2001 National Strategy for Sexual Health and HIV outlined the journey which had to be made to improve sexual health and HIV services and outcomes in England. The 2008 Review of the National Strategy assesses its impact to date, and highlights the significant developments which have taken place since publication.

Lords Questions: China Aid

Baroness Morris of Bolton:To ask Her Majesty's Governmenthow much they have spent on aid to China in the past five years.

Baroness Morris of Bolton: My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question standing in my name on the Order Paper. In doing so, I declare an interest as a trustee of UNICEF UK.

Lords Questions: TB

Baroness Masham of Ilton:To ask Her Majesty's Government what they are doing to combat drug-resistant tuberculosis in the United Kingdom and overseas.

Baroness Thornton:My Lords, I congratulate the noble Baroness on the timeliness of her Question as today is World TB Day. In England, our strategy is early detection and completion of treatment, which prevents drug-resistant TB developing. The UK Government made a long-term commitment of £1 billion from 2007 to 2015 to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria overseas.

Secreatary of State for Health

Mr. David S. Borrow: It is estimated that there are more than 20,000 men and women in this country who are HIV-positive, and who have not been tested or diagnosed and therefore do not know that they are HIV-positive. Does my hon. Friend agree that the Department should aim to reduce that figure by at least 50 per cent.? What action is the Department taking to achieve that objective?

Questions to the Secretary of State for International Development

Mr. Andrew Robathan: How much funding his Department has provided to the Trades Union Congress for international development purposes since 2003; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gareth Thomas: The Department for International Development has provided £2.58 million to the Trades Union Congress in the period from 2002-03 to date in support of its work on international development. The TUC's work in spreading awareness of HIV/AIDS in Ugandan workplaces, for example, has helped to save countless lives.