Global Aids Week of Action observed
The Global Aids Week of Action, during which governments review the progress they have made in the battle against the HIV/Aids pandemic since it was declared a global emergency in 2001, has commenced since 20 May and will last for a week.
ActionAid and other civil society organisations are currently working in a coalition in at least 13 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe to highlight the needs and demands of people living with HIV and Aids.
Each coalition will prepare a charter of demands aimed at the UN meeting and present it to its national governments and they are expected to publish reports on the real situation regarding HIV/Aids in their countries as alternatives to their countries’ official reports to the UN.
There will also be a range of campaign actions aimed at influencing parliamentarians and key policy makers and coverage of the issues in both the print and broadcast media. The various coalitions will also hold national seminars, conferences, public meetings and debates on HIV/Aids and human rights, focussing particularly on the issue of universal access to treatment, contrasting actual progress with the G8’s attention-grabbing displays. There will be other public awareness and sensitisation events such as film festivals screening on HIV/Aids related social prejudice and discrimination.
Events in The Gambia will include radio sensitisation programmes during the week. On 21 and 22 May, the executive committee of People Leaving With HIV/Aids (PLWHA) network and the Network of Aids Service Organisations will conduct a tour on support societies in the country to discuss human rights issues affecting them and orient members on activities of the Global Action Week. From 23 to 25 May, organisers will hold a three-day forum for participants of Aids service networks and PLWHA network to discuss issues relating to the coordination of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) working in HIV/Aids. During the course of the week, a symposium targeting National Assembly Members on the need for the enactment of laws aimed at protecting people living with HIV/Aids against stigma and discrimination.