Increasing our stepping pace in AIDS fight
Only the people can liberate themselves from AIDS – the epidemic!” Such a clarion call has spurred many people into activism to aggressively turn the tide of HIV/AIDS.
The opportunity of the AIDS Conference will be tremendous in highlighting the diverse nature of the HIV epidemic and the unique responses to it the world over. The gathering in Melbourne, will form part of TCE’s “going international” dialogue creation, opinion forming and show-casing another way of tackling HIV/AIDS issues as seen from the many good stories from the people in the TCE fields.
It will be a unique opportunity for researchers from around the world to share the latest scientific advances in the field, learn from one another’s expertise, and develop strategies for advancing all facets of our collective efforts to treat and prevent HIV. The International AIDS Conference is expected to convene over 14,000 delegates from nearly 200 countries. The conference will be held from 20-25 July 2014.
The TCE program is the vehicle through which Humana People to People entered the battle in the fight against the deadly HIV/AIDS in 2000. The intensive 3 year campaign sets out to mobilize individuals and communities to take control of the disease and deal with its consequences.
Since its creation in 1999 and first time implementation in Zimbabwe in 2000, about 6,500 TCE Field Officers have had ‘one on one’ counselling with about 15 million people in Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Malawi, Zambia, DRC, India and China. The goal of the counseling is to start an open dialogue about the disease to ensure that people take control and stop the spread of the disease, individually and as part of a collective. It is also to ensure that people are equipped with information so they avoid becoming infected, do not spread the disease if they are already infected and have the resolve to live long and healthy lives regardless of their status.
The HIV and AIDS field has seen renewed optimism over the past few years with substantial gains made in cure and vaccine research, growing numbers of people receiving antiretroviral treatment, falling rates of infection and more evidence on Treatment as Prevention. However, this progress has not been universal with many regions struggling to address their HIV epidemic among a backdrop of ever increasing infections and difficulties in funding, implementation and political challenges.
Health systems in the countries hardest hit by HIV/AIDS cannot match the challenges posed by the HIV/AIDS epidemic despite numerous efforts to measure up at a global level. Shoulder to shoulder with the infected people and the affected communities and national governments, TCE efforts are aimed at ensuring the reduction in new HIV infections and organizing strong communities that are highly motivated and trained to assume leadership roles in the fight against the epidemic.
Such motivated communities will make contributions in the fight against HIV, address individual challenges and celebrate each community’s collective strengths in the epic fight for life. The communities take part in Positive Living Clubs and establish herbal and vegetable gardens among other activities.
TCE envisions communities that have control over new HIV infections and where people living with the virus have the support they need to live healthy and rewarding lives.