The fight against HIV/AIDS and LGBT* rights in Africa

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AFRICA
THE FIGHT AGAINST HIV/AIDS AND LGBT* RIGHTS
November 25t, 2014

Africagay2As in Uganda, where President Museveni recently signed an act into law that considerably worsens the repression of homosexuality, 40% of UN member states – that’s 39 African countries out of 54 – still criminalize sexual relations between people of the same sex. We can no longer ignore the disastrous public health ramifications that stem from criminalization. Criminalization is also a major obstacle in the fight against HIV/AIDS, since it pushes people into hiding, and distances them from prevention and care services.

African community organizations ANSS and REVS+, members of Coalition PLUS, have long been working with and for LGBT communities in Burundi and Burkina Faso in the areas of prevention, human rights, and health issues. Both organizations are also members of Africagay against AIDS, a network of HIV/AIDS and LGBT associations from eight African countries, which receives technical and financial support from AIDES (a founding member of Coalition PLUS) and Sidaction. The network works to ensure that Africa’s LGBT communities have access to prevention and care, on the principle that the discrimination these people are subjected to is an affront to human rights, and serves to feed the epidemic.

To learn more about Africagay against AIDS, visit africagay.org

* Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender
Illustration: @ AIDES — Africagay against AIDS

Burkina Faso: 16 years fighting HIV with REVS+

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BURKINA FASO: 16 YEARS FIGHTING HIV WITH REVS+
November 22nd, 2013

Burkina Faso scores very low in terms of human and economic development; in 2012 it ranked 183rd out of 187 countries worldwide. HIV/AIDS is a serious public health concern. In fact, UNAIDS has declared a generalized epidemic with an estimated 110,000 people infected, or 1.2% of the population, including 56,000 women and 17,000 children under age 15.

How can this epidemic be stopped, when there are insufficient resources to make widespread testing available throughout the country? How can we guarantee quality of care to the hundreds of thousands of HIV?positive people in need of proper treatment?

The solution starts with the community. REVS+ has dedicated every day to this mission for 16 years. A partner of Coalition PLUS since 2010, this NGO has benefited from technical support for the past three years to strengthen its management capacity and action plans. Today, the organization meets all the criteria required to join our organization. As of last October, it is now a full-fledged member.

Your support of Coalition PLUS, through Fqsida, helps to improve the efficiency of its African member organizations in Burkina Faso, Burundi, Mali, Morocco and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Thank you!

See the 2012 Coalition PLUS Report on Activities at coalitionplus.org

Burkina Faso – REVS+ fights for access to treatment and car for HIV-positive people

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– BURKINA FASO –
REVS+ FIGHTS FOR ACCESS TO TREATMENT AND CARE
FOR HIV-POSITIVE PEOPLE
February 18th, 2013

Gestion médicament REV+In Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso’s second largest city, the REVS+ organization (Responsabilité – Espoir – Vie – Solidarité +) has been advocating for access to care and treatment for HIV-positive people for 15 years. A member of Coalition PLUS, this community-based HIV/AIDS organization was the first in the country to engage in preventing mother-to-child transmission, and hundreds of pregnant, HIV-positive women are currently receiving psychological, medical and social support. For now, these women are giving birth at the Bobo-Dioulasso pediatric hospital, but within a few months they are expected to be able to be followed throughout their pregnancy and after delivery directly at the organization thanks to the Grandir program, which also provides sanitary and psychosocial support for 850 children, 200 of whom are HIV-positive.

In spite of the many targeted prevention campaigns run by REVS+, focused mainly on the importance of screening, physicians working with the organization see people arrive for consultations in an extremely weakened state. Many of them, screened very late, suffer from multiple opportunistic diseases. Their immunity is so low that they need to begin treatment without delay. Unfortunately, in Burkina Faso, there’s a long wait to receive triple therapy. Too often, patients waiting for treatment must wait for funds to be freed up, or for another patient to either die or stop treatment. This explains why in 2011, of the 3426 HIV-positive people followed at the organization, the vast majority of whom required treatment, only 37% were able to receive triple therapy. In Burkina Faso, access to treatment and care for HIV-positive people is a constant challenge – one that REVS+ is more ready and determined than ever to take on, thanks to your critical support.

The organizations in Africa

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THE ORGANIZATIONS IN AFRICA
July 2nd, 2010

 

Morocco: ALCS
ALCS, the first association formed to fight AIDS in the Maghreb and the Middle East, was founded in February 1988. ALCS carries out prevention activities and cares for people living with HIV/AIDS. It also defends the rights of the most vulnerable groups (male and female sex workers, migrants, prisoners, truck drivers, and drug users).

Democratic Republic of Congo: ACS/AMO-Congo
ACS/AMO-Congo is the first medical care management structure in the country. Thousands of AIDS orphans are supported by the Association. It also provides numerous community support services to people living with HIV/AIDS and those affected by HIV.

Burundi: ANSS
ANSS, the national association supporting people who are HIV-positive and living with AIDS is one of the first associations to combat AIDS in Burundi. Since 1993, it has been providing voluntary and free screening, clinical and psychosocial care management, and material and financial assistance to people living with HIV/AIDS.

Mali: ARCAD/SIDA
Founded in Mali in September 1994, ARCAD/SIDA is an association that carries out research and provides home care to people living with HIV/AIDS. Tens of thousands of people affected are monitored at the association’s centres, where they benefit from free global healthcare, including antiretroviral (ARV) treatment. ARCAD/SIDA was also one of the first African associations to have set up a program to provide gay Malians with access to means of prevention and care.

Burkina Faso: REVS+
Created in 1997, REVS+ is one of the first Burkinabé associations in the fight against HIV/AIDS, in particular, through the global management of care of people living with HIV/AIDS. REVS+ has the objective of assuring the health and social and economic well-being of its members and the general public, in terms of sustained human development in the context of HIV/AIDS.