Monday, 10 November 2014

World AIDS Day 2014-Concept note

Theme: “Getting to Zero, My Responsibility”

Background Paper

1.0         Introduction and Background

While Uganda has made remarkable progress in addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic, a recent AIDS indicator survey (2011) showed an HIV prevalence of 7.3% among people aged 15-49 years. This apparent increase in prevalence was partly attributed to the rising number of Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV) who are able to live longer as a result of improved access to treatment as well as a rising number of new infections. Although Uganda estimates by UNAIDS showed a decrease  of new infections from about 162,000 in 2011 to 137,000 in 2013  this figure is still too high and is the highest in the East African region.  

The high number of new infections in the country is compounded by challenges of social, behaviour, structural, economic, political and legal barriers to effective demand and uptake of preventive HIV/AIDS services.

 In order to address existing challenges and reverse the HIV epidemic, the country has finalized the development of the National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan 2015/16 – 2019/20 which has a thrust towards individual and collective responsibility in the fight against the epidemic.
The cornerstone of our prevention efforts must be anchored on the behavior of our people, both young and old. Studies show that the main sources of new infections are multiple sexual partnerships including amongst those who are married.

Change to the right behavior must be supported with proven bio-medical interventions such as Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission, correct and consistent condom use in risky sexual encounters  or amongst couples who are discordant and safe male circumcision which reduces the risk of acquisition amongst men.

 2.0.      World AIDS Campaign

World AIDS Campaign 2011 – 2015 has continued to focus on the Theme of “Getting to Zero” Zero New Infections, Zero discrimination, Zero deaths. This theme, aims at advancing global progress in achieving country set targets for universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support; and to halt and reverse the spread of HIV and contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

3.0 World AIDS Day 2014

National Theme: “Getting to Zero, My Responsibility”

What the theme aims to achieve
1.         Getting To Zero HIV new infections

·           New sexual transmissions of HIV are prevented

·          Parent to child transmission of HIV is eliminated

2.         Getting to Zero AIDS related deaths
  • Universal access to antiretroviral therapy for HIV infected people who are in need of it.
  • Tuberculosis deaths among people living with HIV are prevented
  • People infected and affected with HIV have access to care and support and are covered in all national social protection strategies.

3.         Getting To Zero Discrimination
  •       People infected and affected with HIV are treated with respect and dignity.

 Objectives of the World AIDS Day

·     To serve  as a platform to create awareness and advocacy, community mobilization and re-energizing the role of leaders at household, community and national levels towards HIV Prevention  and control;

·     To enable the country to take stock of achievements as well as innovations and scientific break-throughs.  
  • To call for action and commitment by government and other partners to fund the HIV and AIDS national response in order to achieve universal access targets.

4.0       WAD 2014 message

The campaign message this year is focusing on individuals to take full responsibility of their health and sexual behavior as far as HIV and AIDS is concerned.

 My Responsibility

“The Response Starts with ME” It is an individual responsibility to:

(a) Adopt safer sexual behaviour and reduction in risky behaviour through:

  • Practicing abstinence
  • Being faithful to one’s sexual partner
  • Consistent and correct use of condoms

(b)  Utilize available HIV / AIDS services

·            Getting tested and knowing one’s HIV status

·          Accessing Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) services

·          Accessing Elimination of Mother To Child Transmission (EMTCT) services

·          Accessing Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)

(c)    Live Positively

  •  Adhering to ART
  • Eating a balanced diet.
  • Avoid alcohol and other substances that endanger one’s health.
  • Do not transmit HIV to others

6.0       Venue for the World AIDS Day.

The national event will be held in Fort Portal, Kabarole District on 1st December 2014 . The rationale for selection of Kabarole district is that, it is characterised by high HIV prevalence rates and it is a growing and tourist destination in the mid - Western region.  In addition, the district is centrally located in that region for participation of other districts at the National event.

 Uganda AIDS commission has been rotating venues of the 3 main advocacy events (World AIDS Day, Philly Lutaaya Day and Candlelight memorial) to ensure national coverage.

Every district is charged with the responsibility to ensure district based commemorations in partnership with district based actors, at a venue of their choice and performing activities of their choice based on existing capacities and HIV situations.
7.0       Organisation of World AIDS Day 2014

National Organising Committee (NOC) and District Organising Committees (DOC)

UAC’s main role is to coordinate and give guidance to the whole country through a National Organising Committee (NOC).  UAC has identified strategic agencies/partners to constitute a NOC to support Kabarole district to organise the event. Members of the NOC are from Government, civil society including International NGOs, Local NGOs and CBOs, Faith Based Organisations (FBOs), Private sector, Culture, media and Arts, Youth, Decentralised Response, Parliament, PLHIV, Research and Academia and People with Disabilities (PWDs) as well as Aids Development Partners (ADPs).  The NOC will constitute sub-committees to execute specific tasks as will be determined based on members’ consensus.

The composition and roles of the District Organising Committees (DOCs) will be a replica of the NOC as stipulated above but districts are at liberty to add to the list according to the prevailing circumstances.

Terms of Reference for NOC and DOC:

Goal: Working with UAC/District AIDS Committees, the committees will give guidance to the entire country as well as districts on implementation of successful WAD 2014 events at the centre and in the different Local Governments.

Terms of Reference for NOC/DOC:

The NOC and DOCs will perform their duties with intentions to achieve agreed upon objectives.  The NOC and DOCs will through regular meetings of members and subcommittees have the following roles:

·         Review and refine proposed strategy for WAD 2014

·         Identify and agree on suitable activities to share with partners

·         Ensure effective national and decentralised level publicity of the event

·         Review and have consensus over the proposed national and district activities.

·         Mobilise different constituencies to participate in the day’s events

·         Mobilise resources to support implementation of agreed upon activities

Any other roles and responsibilities of the NOC and DOCs shall be determined by Uganda AIDS Commission and the District AIDS Committees as and when need arises

NB: NOC/DOC will work on voluntary basis, but are expected to demonstrate commitment to the cause.
8.0       Proposed activities for World AIDS Day.:

A number of broad activities will be considered for implementation in the month preceding WAD and in the immediate period after the event.

1.           ‘Special Prayers’ by the Moslems community, Catholic community, Anglican community, Adventist Community, Pentecostals, among other Christian sects. This is coordinated by the Interreligious Council of Uganda.

2.          ‘Special Forum’ by Urban Leaders . AMICAALL is working hand in hand with UAC on the Universal Access Campaign led by Mayors and other urban local government leaders covering the whole country.

3.          The eMTCT campaign launch for Busoga region is expected to take place in December 2014.

4.          The “Protect the Goal” campaign led by the MoH will be launched by H.E. The President of Uganda on 9th November 2014. The campaign mainly targets the youth and other sports lovers and aims at using sports as a forum to mobilise the community take action aimed at reducing HIV acquisition and transmission.

5.          Mass media campaigns through radios, TV debate, press conferences, news paper supplements among others. Local governments are  encouraged to mobilise local media stations to donate airtime for HIV/AIDS message dissemination as part of corporate social responsibility

6.          Intensifying service delivery  activities like HCT, SMC etc.

7.          Processions through roads/streets in identified areas/communities

8.          Sports such as bicycle/motorcycle/motor rallies and marathon races

9.          Film shows, Debates, Quizzes, , Community Dialogues and Statements;

10.       District Council Debates and community dialogues

11.       Social Support to the needy in form of visiting infected and affected people in homes, prisons, etc.

12.       IEC Materials production, display and publications through ads, supplements, stickers, banners, posters, press releases, etc.

Space will be availed during the event for actors to show case  their services, products and research outcomes through exhibitions, service delivery and edutainment.

 9.0       Guest of Honour at the National event:

His Excellency the President of Uganda is expected to grace the WAD as the Chief Guest.

 10.0    Appeal

Uganda AIDS Commission as a lead coordinating agency will give guidance to all sectors, districts and NGOs including PLHIV.  The Commission therefore appeals to all leaders to cooperate and embrace the campaign and support the theme, “Getting to Zero; My Responsibility”.

The Commission further calls upon everyone to demonstrate effective individual as well as collective responsibility as we steer the country’s HIV response efforts towards attaining zero new infections, Zero discrimination and Zero AIDS related deaths as we count down to 2015 .

Together we share the Challenge.

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