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Issue # 12
October 29, 2004
Calí, Colombia


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Moderators

Oswaldo Adolfo Rada L.
Regional Secretary for RedLa+

Germán Rincón Perfetti
G&M de Colombia Abogados
Lideres en Acción

Text and design editor
David Morales Alb
a

Translator
Cecilia Sarmiento


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World Campaign Against AIDS

Women, girls, HIV, AIDS, the central axis for 2004
Images taken from www.unaids.org

UNAIDS, RedLa+.- The purpose of the World Campaign against AIDS this year is to sensitize society and help deal with the problems relating with HIV/AIDS that affect women and girls.

Aiming towards this, the 2004 Campaign enters a transition phase: it centers the focal issue on women regarding HIV/AIDS, at the same time that it moves forward in strengthening civil society through a World Management Committee made up of representatives from non governmental agencies in each continent in the region.

The objectives

The campaign wants to promote the role of women and girls in the fight against the epidemic, and highlight the impact that this one has over the female gender at a world, regional and national level. It also looks to ensure that national policies and responses are focused on the impact of AIDS on woman and girls, as well as increase self-esteem among women, especially those who are more vulnerable to HIV o who are infected.

A lot of efforts, few result

In the official Campaign document UNAIDS states that HIV prevention efforts are not effective among women and girls because they are being continuously infected.

It adds, “Worldwide, many of the women infected through heterosexual relations, contracted the virus from their husbands or stable partners”.

Background

1998 was the first time that the World Health Organization established December 1 st as the World AIDS Day, a date that soon became to be one of the most recognized commemorations at an international level.
In 1997, the United Nations Joint AIDS Program, UNAIDS, launched its first world campaign against AIDS that lasted a year, in response to the need to implement actions all year long. From then on, UNAIDS has coordinated the World Campaign, creating alliances with governments ad all the sectors of thee civil society that deal with these particular issues.
In June 2001, the United Nations General Assembly had a period of extraordinary sessions in which governments approved a Commitment Declaration that established several goals and objectives in the fight against the virus.
For the 2002-2003 period, under the slogan “Live and Let Live”, the campaign focused its efforts on the collateral damages that provoke the stigma and discrimination related to AIDS.

It follows to state that in countries under development, women get married before the age of 20 and those that are married have higher HIV rates than those equally sexually active women that are single.

According to the document, women are particularly vulnerable to HIV; and worldwide, close to half of those infected by the virus are women.

This is attributed to having insufficient knowledge about AIDS, insufficient access to preventive services ad lack of prevention virus methods controlled by women, such as micro-biocides.

Other aspects that the document deals with are the necessary actions and basic information topics such as the importance of talking openly about HIV/AIDS ad the role of education to reduce vulnerability, among others.

Download the complete document about the Campaign (PDF file, 23 pages, 284 Kb).