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Celebrate Solutions: Men Choose Circumcision to Protect Themselves from HIV

By: Sara Pellegrom, Women Deliver

Studies have shown compelling evidence that voluntary male medical circumcision (VMCC) can reduce a man’s risk of heterosexually contracting HIV by 60%, decrease the chance of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI), and lower the risk of cervical cancer in female sexual partners. Therefore, it is no surprise that more than one million men and youth in sub-Saharan Africa have chosen to get circumcised to protect themselves.

With support from donors, a Jhpiego program has provided technical assistance and policy guidelines to deliver effective VMMC services. A signature characteristic of the project is the leading role of nurses in performing the procedure. This will build the capacity of health care workers around sub-Saharan Africa to continue to provide these services. Furthermore, the VMMC services are part of a broader package of comprehensive HIV-prevention services that also include screening and treatment of STIs, HIV testing, counseling and referrals, and condom promotion. Read more...

Gender-based violence and HIV: addressing twin epidemics

By Hajjarah Nagadya

Hajjarah Nagadya is a young woman living with HIV and a mother of one. She is a member of the International Community of Women Living with HIV in Eastern Africa, as well as the UNAIDS Dialogue Platform for Women Living with HIV.

Governments, NGOs and activists are currently gathered in New York for the 58th Session on the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which I am attending as a representative of the Link Up project. As a young woman living with HIV, I want to make sure that the issues that really affect women living with HIV are addressed. Gender based violence (GBV) is a key driver of HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa, where approximately 61% of people living with HIV are women. Women have become the face of HIV in the region, and GBV is a major factor fuelling this. Violence of all forms, particularly affecting vulnerable groups most at risk of the HIV epidemic  including young women, sex workers, and transgender women, must be addressed. Read more...

Women Living with HIV Struggle to Access Family Planning Services

By: Nina Kouassi, Key Correspondant; International Treatment Prepardness Coalition

One year on from the launch of the Ivory Coast’s national plan to provide family planning services to all women in the country there is much progress, but more than 50% of women still lack access to vital services.In the Ivory Coast, the fertility rate is estimated to be four births per woman and in 2010 only 12% of women of childbearing age used family planning services. Preventing unplanned pregnancy among HIV-positive women through family planning services is one of the four pillars of a comprehensive program for preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV (the others being prevention of HIV in women, prevention of HIV parental transmission, and provision of care and support for HIV-positive women, their infants and families). Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Addressing Gender-Based Violence to Decrease HIV rates in Uganda

By: Yousra Yusuf, Women Deliver

Gender-based violence (GBV) contributes significantly to HIV prevalence in the world, specifically in HIV endemic countries in sub-Saharan Africa. SASA!, a program run by Raising Voices, is a community mobilization program based in Uganda that works to raise community awareness of GBV, and in turn reduce rates of HIV. Read more...

World Contraception Day: Young People Plan, Young People Decide

By: Cecilia García Ruiz, Women Deliver 100 Young Leader from Mexico

 

 

This blog is part of a series, edited by Women Deliver, in partnership with Impatient Optimists, on youth perspectives to celebrate World Contraception Day. Share your thoughts in comments and join the conversation at #WCD2012.

World Contraception Day will be celebrated for the 6th time on September 26, 2012. For six years we’ve worked to shine a spotlight on these key issues, but some people still disregard the importance of providing universal access to quality contraceptive services and information to prevent unplanned pregnancies, especially among young people. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Solar Energy for Safer Births

By: Rati Bishnoi, Women Deliver

Saving the lives of mothers and babies depends on having more than the right health care and interventions. The best facilities, caregivers, and interventions won’t improve maternal and neonatal health care delivery if basic needs for power, water, and sanitation aren’t available. Read more...

Woman’s Condom: Expanding Options for Dual Protection

By: Kimberly Whipkey, Global Advocacy Specialist, PATH; Woman's Condom is a winner of the Women Deliver 50

PATHcondom.jpgWomen need access to dual protection and more female-controlled options.

If you’ve been following the discussion around the World Health Organization’s technical guidance on hormonal contraception and HIV, chances are you’ve seen this message emerge. So what female-controlled, dual protection methods are available today—methods that help prevent both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV? Read more...

Women, Adolescents, and Young People are Critical for Sustainable Development

By: Adeolu Ogunrombi, one of the Women Deliver 100 Young Leaders
Originally posted on Adeolu’s blog

nigeria.JPGThe truth that adolescent girls occupy the lowest rank in the hierarchy of gender power relationships and its effect on their holistic development is an issue of utmost importance and urgency. My mind went down memory lane and remembered an experience I had some years back while working with a health facility supported by the World Bank to provide care and treatment on HIV/AIDS in one of the North Central states, very close to Abuja the Federal Capital of Nigeria.

There was a time we noticed in the HIV counseling and testing unit that so many of our clients coming from a particular village within the suburb were testing positive for HIV. The incidence became of concern to me and my colleagues and we were curious to know why this was happening in a village that has little or no social infrastructure. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: When ‘B+’ is the Best Option

By: Dr. Aoife Kenny 

MalawiAoife.jpgAn estimated 1.5 million HIV-positive women become pregnant every year. Effective treatment is essential for reducing their chance of severe illness or death during pregnancy as well as reducing the chance of infecting their children with HIV. The best way to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) is to ensure that medication is taken throughout the pregnancy and breastfeeding period. PMTCT is an essential component of three Millennium Development Goals: reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, and combating HIV/AIDS. Read more...


Women Need Access to Dual Protection—Effective Contraceptives and HIV Prevention Options

WHO recommendations related to use of hormonal contraceptives remain unchanged. The use of condoms—male and female—is a reliable method of HIV prevention.

GENEVA, 16 February 2012—A stakeholder consultation convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva has reviewed recent epidemiological studies related to HIV transmission and acquisition by women using hormonal contraceptives. After careful review of all available evidence, the stakeholders found that the data were not sufficiently conclusive to change current guidance. Read more... 

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Lifesaving Work

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Announces $750 Million Contribution to the Global Fund, Affirming Support for the World's Largest Global Health Financier

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Gates Foundation Co-chair Bill Gates announced a $750 million contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The funds are committed in a promissory note, a new and innovative funding mechanism that will provide the Global Fund with the flexibility to distribute funds based on immediate program needs. The contribution will help finance Global Fund-supported programs in 150 countries, and comes just two days before the Global Fund's 10th anniversary on January 28. Read more...

CALL FOR WOMEN DELIVER 50 NOMINATIONS ENDS TODAY, FEBRUARY 10TH AT 6PM EST


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Every year, in conjunction with International Women’s Day, Women Deliver celebrates the progress made on behalf of girls and women worldwide. Our Women Deliver 100 list in 2011, which featured 100 of the most inspiring people who have delivered for girls and women, was covered by over 100 traditional and new media sources. This year, to continue the momentum, we are spotlighting the top 50 inspiring ideas and solutions that deliver for girls and women. We would love to hear what you think are the most innovative, impactful, and promising advancements in overcoming gender inequality. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Engaging Men As Partners To Change Gender-based Inequity In Health

By: Mariko Rasmussen, Communications Specialist at Women Deliver

Gender can influence men’s and women’s health in profound ways; social expectations of what men and women should and should not do can directly affect attitudes and behaviors related to a wide variety of health issues. Often, it is men who decide the frequency and timing of sexual activity and whether or not to use contraceptives, sometimes through coercion or violence. Gender-based violence can contribute to the spread of HIV and sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), and lead to poor reproductive health outcomes for women. And because of women’s low status in many societies, maternal health services are not prioritized. Empowering women is a critical step to turning this around, but efforts cannot end there: men must also be actively engaged as partners in change. Read more... 

Corporate Buzz: One of the People-People

By: Kate Otto, Public Health Consultant
Originally posted by: Huffington Post Impact

mHealth.jpg"Oh you're one of the international people," a young nurse from Washington, D.C. said to me at last week's mHealth Summit, an annual gathering that attracted 3,600 participants this year (up from 300 attendees in 2009), united in their desire to use of mobile phones to improve health care quality and access.

This woman was acknowledging my poster presentation -- a study on how text message alerts could improve maternal health in rural Ethiopia -- but her comment was delivered with such exasperation that I had to request she clarify her point. What did it mean that I was one of the "international people"? Read more... 

Corporate Buzz: Grants To Accelerate Mobile Technology Centered on Maternal and Newborn Health

Earlier this month at the mHealth Summit in Washington, DC, the Innovation Working Group, part of the UN Secretary General’s Every Woman Every Child Strategy, and the mHealth Alliance announced 8 winners of grants to support mobile health programs. The grants will fund innovative mobile technology projects that have the potential to improve maternal and child health globally.

The projects are based in low-income countries with high maternal and child mortality rates. They aim to improve evaluation design, enhance health information sharing, and increase the capabilities of technologies that help clinical decision-making. Over the two-year grant period, the grantees will build partnerships, scale up their projects to national levels or extend their reach to new communities. The grant program is generously supported by NORAD, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, with technical support from the mHealth Alliance. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Safe Sex, HIV/AIDS, & Reproductive Health Programs Empower Kibera’s Youth

By: Lindsey Taylor Wood, Communications Associate

Found just five kilometers southwest of Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi, Kibera is one of the most densely populated urban settlements in the world. Of the nearly one million impoverished people inhabiting this rural area, it is estimated that 50% are under the age of fifteen, and 10-25% are infected with HIV/AIDS. To address the district’s economic instability and promote participatory development, the not-for-profit Carolina for Kibera (CFK) provides youth leadership and ethnic and gender cooperation through sports, young women's empowerment, and community development. Read on...

World AIDS Day 2011: Funds Diminish, Epidemic Rages On

By: Joanna Hoffman, Special Projects Manager at Women Deliver

Today’s commemoration of World AIDS Day marks 30 years since the HIV/AIDS epidemic began, claiming nearly 30 million deaths around the world in the decades since. Progress towards averting deaths, through global partnerships and committed donors, has been heartening: close to 50% of those eligible for antiretroviral therapy now have access to lifesaving treatment, and new HIV infections have decreased by 21% since 1997. Overall, treatment has saved the lives of nearly 2.5 million people since 1995, bringing the world closer than ever before to UNAIDS’ goal of “getting to zero”- zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. Read more...

 

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