Memorandum submitted by the UK NGO AIDS
This letter is in response to Press Notice No
19 of Session 1999-2000, dated 6 April 2000. The UK NGO AIDS Consortium
are delighted that the International Development Select Committee
has decided to look into HIV/AIDS and Social and Economic Development,
a subject that is becoming increasingly pivotal in all discussions
about International Development.
The Consortium is a group of organisations who
work together to understand and develop effective approaches to
the problems created in developing countries by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
It enables each agency to bring its own experience to be shared
and used to help all the members to improve their response to
the epidemic. As the Consortium depends on its members not only
to share knowledge, but also to support it through membership
contributions, it can maintain a voice that is independent and
can genuinely reflect the concerns of NGOs working in the field.
The effect of HIV/AIDS, compounded by poverty
and civil disruption has already reversed many of the development
gains of the past 20 years, including life expectancy, a key development
It is no longer sensible to view HIV/AIDS simply
as a health issue. The impact of the virus can be observed in
all areas of social and economic development. A key feature of
the work of the Consortium is to promote the mainstreaming of
HIV/AIDS into all aspects of development and commercial sector
The Consortium would particularly like to highlight
the following areas that we feel the International Development
Committee should consider:
mainstreaming HIV/AIDS: to
respond effectively to the HIV/AIDS pandemic it is essential that
consideration of the impact of HIV is integral to both development
and commercial sectors planning and operations. This will be a
subject of a future project of the Consortium, DFID, who are also
significant contributors to the Consortium, have already embarked
on a process of mainstreaming HIV/AIDS and we have contributed
via John Snow International who are helping DFID facilitate the
access to HIV/AIDS Treatments
in Developing Countries: although recent announcements regarding
a price reduction for Antiretroviral Treatments (ARVs) for developing
countries are to be welcome, there will be little benefit derived
from this unless there is both investment in and development of
the health care infrastructure of the worst affected countries.
Treatments for opportunistic infections and palliative care should
be higher priority than provision of ARVs.
Please refer to Access to HIV treatments
in developing countriesinterim report and International
Seminar consensus Statement:
Impact of HIV/AIDS on Family and
Community Structures: UNAIDS estimates that by the end of
1999 the cumulative total of children who have lost their mother
to AIDS before the age of 15 will be 11.2 million. Our Working
Group on Household and Community Impact is looking at how families
and communities cope with HIV/AIDS; the changing roles of family
members and the impact on the care and socialisation of children
affected by HIV/AIDS.
Please refer to Report of the Working Group
Meeting 9 August 1999 and Role of Older People in the Epidemic
Vulnerability of the Girl Child:
Our recent report discusses the way in which HIV/AIDS has a disproportionate
impact on girls and women, who are least able to effect social,
political and cultural change. The report recommends the implementation
of international conventions, ratification of CEDAW and the African
Charter on the Rights of the Child, in countries where it is not
in force; UN Convention on the Rights of Children; The Beijing
Declaration and the Stockholm Agenda for Action.
Please refer to Vulnerability of the Girl
Child to HIV/AIDS International Seminar Report:
International Development Targets:
We would like to highlight our submission to DFID on the Target
Strategy Paper "Better Health for Poor People". In particular
we would mention the need for consideration of appropriate international
Please refer to UK NGO AIDS Consortium submission
to DFID on the Target Strategy Paper "Better Health for Poor
Stigma and Discrimination against
People Living with HIV/AIDS: There is a need for all development
agencies and NGOs to support cultural change to reduce stigma
and discrimination against People Living with HIV/AIDS and to
strengthen the capacity of People Living with HIV/AIDS to inform
responses to the epidemic.
The UK NGO AIDS Consortium supports and welcomes
new initiatives such as vaccine development and treatment innovation,
but it feels very strongly that basic development work, ie building
infrastructure, strengthening community capacity, generating sustainable
sources of income etc should remain the highest priority. Without
these efforts all other initiatives will not be effective.
The UK NGO AIDS Consortium would be pleased
to offer the experience and expertise of our members to support
the Select Committee Inquiry. Our Chair would be very willing
to give evidence at the hearings.
Access to HIV Treatments in Developing Countries
4 November 1997-2 December 1997.
Consensus Statement from International Seminar 5-6 June 1998.
Report from the Working Group on Household and Community Impact
9 August 1999.
Vulnerability of the Girl Child to HIV/AIDS International Seminar
Report 15-16 November 1999.
Response to DFID Target Strategy Paper January 2000.
Safe Motherhood and Mother to Child Transmission from Consortium
Quarterly Meeting 26 May 1999.
Structural Adjustment, trade regulations and HIV: what are the
links and what is the impact on the epidemic and on people with
HIV? From the Consortium Quarterly Meeting 8 September 1999.
Effective HIV/AIDS Activities: NGO work in Developing Countries
Collaborative Study Executive Summary March 1996.
Refugees, Displaced People and their Vulnerability to HIV/AIDS
International Seminar Report 28-29 October 1996.
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