INTERNATIONAL AIDS SOCIETY AND ELTON JOHN AIDS FOUNDATION: ‘DOING THE RIGHT THING’ BY HONOURING FRONTLINE HEALTH WORKERS CHAMPIONING QUALITY SERVICES FOR KEY POPULATIONS
New campaign celebrates providers who are #DoingTheRightThing
20 July 2016 - Durban, South Africa – The International AIDS Society (IAS) today launched a new campaign to celebrate doctors, nurses, and other frontline health workers who deliver quality integrated HIV prevention, care, and treatment services to key populations, often in the face of discriminatory laws, traditions, and belief systems. Supported by the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the Me and My Health Care Provider campaign gives members of key populations, including men who have sex with men and transgender populations, the opportunity to publicly acknowledge their health care workers for their efforts to provide inclusive health care services and create safe, secure, and supportive environments.
“The relationship between clients and their health care providers should be a sacred one, based on trust and mutual respect. But many men who have sex with men and transgender people visiting health care clinics are met with disdain, overt discrimination and, at times, even arrest,” said Elton John, singer, songwriter, and Founder of the Elton John AIDS Foundation. “These are the attitudes that fuel the HIV epidemic and prevent those at the forefront of the epidemic from accessing life-saving HIV prevention, care, and treatment services.”
The launch of the campaign at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) in Durban featured health care providers from around the world who had been nominated by their clients for their outstanding work. In addition to being featured at the launch ceremony, the nominees will also be highlighted on social media, under the hashtag #DoingTheRightThing.
“Community health workers, nurses, and doctors working on the frontlines of the HIV epidemic are critical to our success in meeting the needs of key populations. But the efforts of these local champions are often overlooked,” said Chris Beyrer, AIDS 2016 International Chair and President of the International AIDS Society. “There is no greater honour than to be able to celebrate these individuals today who are ‘doing the right thing’ as it is in ways like this that we can really tackle stigma and discrimination in healthcare settings.”
The campaign was developed under the auspices of IAS’s “Nobody Left Behind" initiative, which highlights the importance of addressing the HIV needs of all key populations to help end AIDS. By acknowledging and celebrating health care providers delivering exceptional service in the face of extraordinary challenges, the campaign hopes more service providers will begin replicating these efforts.
The full list of nominees and the names of those who nominated them include:
- Dr. Alexander Yurchenko, Kyiv City Clinical Hospital no. 5, nominated by Dzmitry Filippau of the Ukraine.
- Martha Angelica Carillo, independent consultant, nominated by Erika Castellanos of Belize
- Dr. Hector Javier Salvatierra Flores, Reference Center for STI ( ‘Alberto Barton'), nominated by Jana Villayzan Aguilar of Peru
- Dr. Hermine Meli , Yaoundé Central Hospital, nominated by Floribert Aikiki and Kevin Evina of Cameroon
About the International AIDS Conference
The International AIDS Conference is the largest conference on any global health or development issue. First convened during the peak of the AIDS epidemic in 1985, this conference continues to provide a unique forum for the intersection of science and advocacy, and an opportunity to strengthen policies and programmes to ensure an evidence-based response to the epidemic. The conference also serves as a focal point to intensify political and financial commitments to AIDS. The 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) is being held in Durban, South Africa (18-22 July 2016).
AIDS 2016 Conference Organizers
AIDS 2016 is organized by the International AIDS Society in partnership with the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+); the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO); the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW Global), and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Non-permanent partners are ICW Eastern Africa and the Men who Have Sex with Men Global Forum (MSMGF). Local partners are the South Africa National AIDS Council, the Department of Health for the Republic of South Africa, and the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC). Regional partners are the AIDS Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA), Enda Santé, and Réseau Africain des Praticiens Assurant la Prise en Charge Médicale des Personnes Vivant avec le VIH/SIDA (RESAPSI).
About the International AIDS Society
Founded in 1988, the International AIDS Society (IAS) is the world’s largest association of HIV professionals, with members from more than 180 countries. IAS members work on all fronts of the global response to AIDS and include researchers, clinicians, policy and programme planners, and public health and community practitioners.
About the Elton John AIDS Foundation
At the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), we believe AIDS can be beaten. We act on that belief by raising funds for evidence-based programs and policies, and also by speaking out with honesty and compassion about the realities of people’s lives. Sir Elton John created EJAF over twenty years ago, first in the United States in 1992 and then in the United Kingdom in 1993. Through hard work and with the help of our generous friends and supporters, the two foundations together have raised more than $350 million over the past two decades to combat stigma, prevent infections, provide treatment and services, and motivate governments to end AIDS. The U.S. foundation focuses its efforts on programs in the United States, the Americas, and the Caribbean, while the U.K. foundation funds HIV-related work in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Join us in speaking out, taking action, and contributing to our efforts to achieve a world without AIDS. For more information, please visit www.ejaf.org.
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