Humana People to People attended the International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) in Kigali, Rwanda from 2 to 7 December, 2019.
Hosted under the theme "AIDS-FREE AFRICA - Innovation, Community, and Political Leadership" ICASA sought to engage stakeholders from the African continent and beyond in the Post-UN Sustainable Development Goals Framework. The framework calls for a sustainable response in reaching the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets, engaging human rights as a key priority.
ICASA 2019 was an opportunity to renew the global commitment to fighting AIDS, but drew world attention to the fact that the gains made are now under threat as a result of the global economic downturn. The conference was an excellent opportunity to promote inter-sectoral achievements in AIDS prevention and response, as well as strengthen partnerships among governments, civil society, and development partners.
Progress in eastern and southern Africa, the world’s most affected region, is driving global optimism according to the 2018 UNAIDS report Turning Point for Africa that indicates the number of people living with HIV and on antiretroviral therapy has more than doubled since 2010, reaching almost 12.5 million people by June 2017. The report states that new HIV infections have declined by a third in just six years, while AIDS-related deaths have plummeted by 42% over the same period.
Humana People to People participated at ICASA 2019, showcasing its unique approach in working with both hard-to-reach communities and most-at-risk communities for access to HIV testing, treatment and adherence. Humana People to People continues to support strengthening of community health systems for effective uptake of HIV and AIDS clinic-based services, to save lives and empowering communities to take control against the AIDS epidemic. Its mission to accelerate an end HIV and AIDS is based on support for a community response to disease prevention, care and treatment. Total Control of the Epidemic (TCE) is an HIV and AIDS programme, equipping people with the capacity to fight AIDS in high prevalence countries.
TCE strengthens community responsiveness to gain control of HIV and AIDS at individual and community level. Since its initiation at the start of the millennium, the programme has expanded to Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe including China and India.
TCE has since aligned its strategies with the UNAIDS 90-90-90 strategy which focuses on ensuring that 90% of people infected with HIV know their status, 90% of those infected receive anti-retroviral therapy, and90% of those under treatment achieve HIV viral suppression. Testing is accordingly focused on special groups, e.g. men having sex with men, adolescent girls and young women, and commercial sex workers.
People are reached via index testing, contact tracing for those defaulting on their HIV treatment, skills training for entrepreneurship that supports income generation, and prevention of intergenerational sexual practices.
For close to two decades, Humana People to People has fought the spread of HIV and AIDS, together with affected and infected communities, helping to save millions of lives. Years of concerted health actions have been carried out through a substantial coordinated network of community-based health workers, local volunteers and government health departments.