German ministries for health and economic cooperation host HIV prevention conference
22 November 2011
“Health.Right.Now” was the theme of a one-day high-level conference held in Berlin on 21 November focusing on HIV prevention and human rights. Co-hosted by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Ministry of Health (BMG), the conference was attended by more than 150 participants including representatives from German and international civil society organizations, networks of people living with HIV, ministries and the United Nations.
The aim of the conference was to discuss ways to overcome the barriers many key populations at higher risk of HIV infection encounter when accessing HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services.
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé delivered the keynote address at the conference. In his speech, Mr Sidibé outlined the progress made during the past year in HIV science, in particular the treatment for prevention approach as well as the leadership shown by countries, especially when adopting the 2011 Political Declaration on AIDS. He equally spoke on the challenges facing the response, from funding cutbacks to misalignment of HIV prevention programmes in many countries.
Mr Sidibe commended Germany for its effective and pragmatic approach to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, as well as its long history in overcoming stigma and discrimination.
Germany has been at the forefront of the AIDS response by putting people at the centre of its approach to HIV prevention and treatment and addressing stigma and discrimination
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé
“Germany has been at the forefront of the AIDS response by putting people at the centre of its approach to HIV prevention and treatment and addressing stigma and discrimination,” said Mr. Sidibé, in the presence of the Minister of Health, Daniel Bahr, and the Minister for Economic Development and Cooperation, Dirk Niebel. “Your participation here today shows your commitment to helping shape the destiny of the epidemic.”
In their remarks, the Federal Ministers expressed their concerns over the growing epidemic in Eastern Europe and called for a unified response.
In a separate meeting with Federal Ministers Bahr and Niebel, the UNAIDS Executive Director thanked Germany for its support of the global AIDS response and its contributions to UNAIDS. Mr Sidibé presented an overview of the UNAIDS Investment Framework— intended to support better management of national and international AIDS responses— and plans to work with countries to ensure efficiency gains from the resources available.
The conference is part of the BMZ’s 50th anniversary celebrations, a year-long campaign assessing Germany’s engagement in international development and its future development policy.
On the sidelines of the conference, UNAIDS launched its 2011 World AIDS Day Report. Federal Ministers Niebel and Bahr and Silke Klumb, the CEO of Germany’s national AIDS organization, Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe, joined Mr Sidibé at a press conference to release the report.