- Multi-stakeholders in global response to HIV and AIDS have been encouraged to prioritise activities that would create a world where people infected can lead full lives with dignity, purpose and access to opportunity. This was put across at Ford Foundation's meeting ahead of international AIDS conference in Mexico City.
The meeting which brought together donors, government agencies, NGOs and others, was aimed at supporting initiatives that advance human rights, elevate leaders from marginalized groups to highest levels of AIDS movement, promote government accountability on both medical and social progress, as well as ensuring equitable distribution of AIDS programs and services.
Ford Foundation President, Luis A. Ubinas said main concerns lie on discrimination against infected people, which rages as population living with HIV grows. He further stated there is need to ensure that infected people live lives with full array of rights and dignities they deserve.
The second launch of Ford Foundation Global Initiative on HIV/AIDS, according to him, will ensure massive global investments in medical and technological breakthroughs, which matched by an equally significant focus on the social dimensions of the disease.
He also said battle against AIDS has entered a critical phase, where long-term entrenched social challenges stand in the way of people living full and productive lives with disease. Jacob A. Gayle stated.
The foundation's deputy vices president, who also leads Global Initiative on HIV/AIDS, further stated that discrimination and lack of opportunity are the main factors that had made so many vulnerable to the disease in the first place.
For more than 20 years, Ford Foundation has supported grassroots efforts to fight spread of HIV/AIDS on five continents. It launched the Global Initiative on HIV/AIDS in 2006 to extend the impact of this work by bringing knowledge and experience of its recipients to global HIV/AIDS forums.
The foundation has invested in different countries, many of which will be attending Mexico conference, whose objective is to advance innovative approaches that confront the impact of AIDS in local communities and at global level.
Amongst projects in souther Africa, it works in South Africa, where evidence has compounded which shows that community has also volunteered to support AIDS victims even though there is lack of funding evidence.
The foundation's South Africa office has supported innovative model that promises to address this problem by helping communities join forces to attract corporate and other private resources to address AIDS.
In this project, Kagiso Charitable Trust and the Synergos Institute have incorporated influential stakeholders from government, private sector, civil society and the community around collaborative efforts to address HIV/AIDS in Alexandra, South Africa, and hoped this approach to serve as a replicable model for communities across the region, stated the Foundation in a statement.
Further, in Namibia, International Community of Women (ICW), has created an economic empowerment programme that helps hundreds of infected women build stronger livelihoods and share resources. It also launched Young Women's Dialogue to build advocacy skills of young women living with the disease.
These efforts, according to Ford Foundation, have already resulted in the appointment of HIV positive young woman to a seat on the National AIDS Council; which enabled them to work with other partners to develop a curriculum for schools working with HIV adolescents.
In Mozambique, ICW organised the country's initial workshop by and for HIV positive women. The groups will expand these efforts in the year ahead.
The foundation said in recent years, governments, organisations and individuals have made ambitious commitments to help fight the spread of HIV/AIDS. Through grants, the foundation has helped the World AIDS Campaign educate people about these commitments and the need to hold governments and others accountable for results.
The campaign also works around the world to secure new resources for the fights against HIV/AIDS, connect local leaders working on the disease, and increase the effectiveness of civil society organizations by encouraging partnership and collaboration.
For more than 20 years, Ford Foundation has supported grassroots efforts to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS on five continents. It launched the Global Initiative on HIV/AIDS in 2006 to extend the impact of this work by bringing the knowledge and experience of its grantees to global HIV/AIDS forums.
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