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Posts Tagged ‘HIV Implementers Conference’

Editor’s Note: We will be blogging today about the House Appropriations subcommittee meeting, filing an update on funding levels for global health programs. So check back to see what happens!
Rep. Nita Lowey, center, held Neighborhood Office Hours to hear concerns of constituents. Dr. Germaine Jacquette, left, a member of IDSA and RESULTS from White Plains NY, and Inge Auerbacher, right, a TB advocate and Holocaust survivor, attended and shared concerns about global TB and HIV funding.

Rep. Nita Lowey, center, held Neighborhood Office Hours to hear concerns of constituents. Dr. Germaine Jacquette, left, a member of IDSA and RESULTS from White Plains NY, and Inge Auerbacher, right, a TB advocate and Holocaust survivor, attended and shared concerns about global TB and HIV funding.

At last week’s HIV/AIDS Implementers’ Meeting in Namibia, participants expressed deep concern about the commitment among donor nations to maintaining the momentum in the global fight against HIV/AIDS.

This week, attention will turn to the House of Representatives, where a key spending panel will divvy up the foreign aid spending pie—and the global health community will get the first real indication of how much Congress is willing to spend in FY 2010 on global AIDS as well as tuberculosis.

(more…)

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Stefano Bertozzi speaks Thursday in the plenary session at the 2009 HIV/AIDS Implementers' Meeting in Windhoek, Namibia

Stefano Bertozzi speaks Thursday in the plenary session at the 2009 HIV/AIDS Implementers' Meeting in Windhoek, Namibia

While many people at the 2009 HIV/AIDS Implementers’ Meeting have expressed concern about the global economic crisis hurting AIDS and health budgets, Stefano Bertozzi turned the focus back on AIDS programs today, which he said had too much “wasteful spending’’ and needed to be better run.

Bertozzi, executive director of the Center for Evaluation Research and Surveys at Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health, paraphrased a saying often used by his old boss, Julio Frenk, as his own “take-home message’’: “We need more money for AIDS, but we also need less AIDS for the money. For the last 27 or so years, we’ve paid much more attention to getting more money for AIDS, and we’ve paid much less attention to getting less AIDS for the money.’’ (more…)

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Nambia's President Hifikepunye Pohamba speaks to more than 1,000 delegates at the HIV/AIDS Implementers Confererence Wednesday in Windhoek

Nambia's President Hifikepunye Pohamba speaks to more than 1,000 delegates at the HIV/AIDS Implementers Confererence Wednesday in Windhoek

At the opening ceremony tonight that launched the HIV/AIDS Implementers’ Meeting, two noteworthy events (outside of a wonderful acaplella performance of the Namibian national anthem by the local band Vocal Motion 6 (VM6)):

  • Hifikepunye Pohamba, President of the Republic of Namibia, led a long delegation of senior political leaders that included the top officials in his Cabinet as well as many members of the National Assembly.
  • And one speaker, Kevin M. DeCock, head of the World Health Organization’s HIV/AIDS program, delivered a speech that looked at all the scientific developments in the last year. And he also  laid out  challenging ethical and political questions for those working in AIDS programs, warning that others “no matter how unfairly’’ may draw comparisons between AIDS treatment in the developing world today to the infamous Tuskegee study in which researchers failed to appropriately treat syphilis among poor, mostly illiterate African-Americans between 1932 and 1972. (more…)

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So warns Fareed Abdullah, director of the Africa Unit for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, at a press conference here kicking off the HIV/AIDS Implementers’ Meeting.

In unusually forceful language, Abdullah diverted from his prepared talking points to say that not only is there not enough money for AIDS treatment in the developing world, and that a new study showing the benefits of starting treatment much earlier will greatly increase the demand.

“Next year funding for AIDS treatment globally might even be lower than this year,” Abdullah said. “The single biggest issue facing the global AIDS movement now is there is not enough money on the table for ARV (antiretroviral) treatment in countries where the need is greatest.” (more…)

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Memo to Dr. Eric Goosby:  Several hundred people in Windhoek wish you were here at the HIV/AIDS Implementers’ Meeting.

Goosby, who has been nominated by President Obama to be the next US global AIDS coordinator, yesterday had his confirmation hearing in the US Senate. There’s no timetable yet on his confirmation vote.

Ever since Obama abruptly dismissed Mark Dybul as global AIDS coordinator early this year, the organization has been led by several veterans in PEPFAR headquarters, led by Thomas Walsh. But they have deferred on several key decisions until Dybul’s replacement was in place.

“It’s a shame he’s not here,’’ said one veteran PEPFAR official, who, like others interviewed about Goosby, spoke only on condition of anonymity. “It would have saved him a year of travel just to be here to meet people and learn about the status of programs.”

Said another, a bit dreamily, “What do you think – could the Senate confirm him tomorrow? Then he could fly in for the last day of the conference. That would be a movie moment.”

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Welcome to the live blog of the  2009 HIV/AIDS Implementers’ Meeting, which is being held this year in Windhoek, Namibia.

For the past several days, US government officials have held internal meetings (called here “USG-only’’), but today the conference expands for the next four days with dozens of presentations involving AIDS experts from many groups.

This is my fourth implementers’ conference, and I’ve found the meetings I’ve attended before (Addis Ababa, Durban, and Kampala) to be critical in learning what is happening on the ground at that particular moment in Africa, and to a lesser degree Asia and Latin America. These gatherings are dominated by the biggest player in the field – the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR.

Already, many hours before the opening ceremony, the place is buzzing with one overriding issue: Funding the response in a tough economic climate. (more…)

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This post is “sticky” – it will remain at the top of the blog until the Implementers Conference liveblogging is over. Scroll down for John Donnelly’s coverage and other posts.

From June 10-12, former Boston Globe reporter John Donnelly will be blogging live from the  HIV Implementers Meeting in Windhoek, Namibia.

Please, check back during the next few days, and chime in with a comment if you have a question or idea!

Click here to view all posts from the conference.

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