12,754 The Drum Beat, Communication to Fast-Track the End of AIDS

The Drum BeatCommunication to Fast-Track the End of AIDS – The Drum Beat 704
Jan 27 2016

“Through the realization of their rights, people being left behind will move ahead, to the very forefront of the journey to end AIDS – informed and empowered, mobilized and engaged.” These words of Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in the November 2015 report “On the Fast-Track to End AIDS” highlight the roles of communication, media, and social and behaviour change in UNAIDS’ 2016-2021 strategy to end the epidemic by 2030. The 10 targets are outlined in the full report, which is summarised here.

This Drum Beat supplements that report as well as UNAIDS’ World AIDS Day 2015 report, “Focus on Location and Population: On the Fast-Track to End AIDS by 2030“, which gives examples of more than 50 communities, cities, and countries that are reaching more people with comprehensive HIV prevention and treatment services. Below we provide just a few examples of communication-centred projects, strategic thinking and evaluation documents, and resources summarised on The CI site that illustrate the rationale behind the 10 targets. Please do access the links below and search for much more information on The CI website.

The Fast-Track Targets relate to: treatment, children and mothers, young people, access, male circumcision, key populations, gender equality, zero discrimination, funding, and social protection. To achieve these targets, UNAIDS suggests striving toward 8 result areas, which are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) most relevant to HIV/AIDS.
I. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages (SDG 3). Result areas:

  • 1. Children, adolescents and adults living with HIV access testing, know their status, and are immediately offered and sustained on affordable quality treatment.

    * See, for example, this CI summary:

    Lost in Transitions: Current Issues Faced by Adolescents Living with HIV in Asia Pacific
    by Caitlin L. Chandler and Attapon Ed Ngoksin
    Studies of issues faced by those aged 10-19 in the Asia Pacific region who are living with HIV show, for example, that governments should remove age restrictions and parental consent requirements that impede adolescent access to HIV and other medical services. Also recommended: fun, engaging treatment literacy games that empower adolescents to discuss their treatment, and adherence support – be it through peer education or the use of new technology or social media. [Nov 2013]

  • 2. New HIV infections among children are eliminated, and their mother’s health and well-being is sustained.

    * See, for example, this CI summary:

    The Volunteer Community Mobilizer: Promotion of ANC Attendance, Uptake of PMTCT Services
    This UNICEF initiative worked to improve uptake of antenatal care (ANC) services by pregnant women (PW) across Anambra and Benue states, Nigeria, to improve services preventing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), raising uptake from 68% in 2012 to about 87% by 2014. Community-based organisations (CBOs)/social networks came together to develop a community plan of action, followed by state support to train, and equip 1,181 community-based mobilisers.

II. Reduce inequalities in access to services and commodities (SDG 10). Result areas:

  • 3. Young people, particularly young women and adolescent girls, access combination prevention services and are empowered to protect themselves from HIV.

    * See, for example, this CI summary:

    What HIV Programs Work for Adolescent Girls?
    by Karen Hardee, Jill Gay, Melanie Croce-Galis, and Nana Ama Afari-Dwamena
    Researchers reviewed evidence on programming for adolescents from 150 studies and evaluations from 2001 to June 2013. “…[I]t is important to look beyond the health sector for interventions to reach adolescent girls, including providing age-appropriate comprehensive sex education, increasing knowledge about and access to information and services including condoms and other contraceptives, and expanding harm reduction programmes to include adolescent girls who inject drugs.” [Jul 2014]

  • 4. Tailored HIV combination prevention services are accessible to key populations, including sex workers, men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, transgender people, and prisoners, as well as migrants.

    * See, for example, this CI summary:

    Policy Analysis and Advocacy Decision Model for HIV-Related Services: Males Who Have Sex with Males, Transgender People, and Sex Workers
    by Kip Beardsley
    By mapping service-specific policies to international human rights frameworks, this resource is designed to provide tools to inventory, assess, and advocate for policies that affect access to and sustainability of key services for men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender (TG) people, and sex workers (SWs). [Health Policy Project and the African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHeR), with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Sep 2013]

III. Achieve gender equality and empower women and girls (SDG 5). Result area:

  • 5. Women and men practice and promote healthy gender norms and work together to end gender-based, sexual, and intimate partner violence to mitigate risk and impact of HIV.

    * See, for example, this CI summary:

    Multisectoral Responses to Gender-based Violence in Mozambique
    In two projects, Pathfinder engaged in primary prevention to transform gender norms toward greater equality through, for example, a training manual for CBOs, community activists, community health workers (CHWs), and CHW supervisors covering gender, gender-based violence (GBV), sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), relevant Mozambican GBV laws, male engagement, the role of the community in facilitating or mitigating GBV, and how and where to refer survivors. Secondary prevention involved, for instance, provision of emergency contraception and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted infections, treatment of injuries, temporary shelter, forensic evidence collection, and psychosocial, police, and legal support. An advocacy component built the capacity of national coalitions, CBOs, and women’s rights organisations to conduct sustained advocacy. [Jan 2015]

IV. Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies (SDG 16). Result area:

  • 6. Punitive laws, policies, practices, stigma, and discrimination that block effective responses to HIV are removed.

    * See, for example, this CI summary:

    From Isolation to Solidarity: How Community Mobilization Underpins HIV Prevention in the Avahan AIDS India Initiative
    by Bill Rau
    This case study examines the Avahan AIDS India Initiative’s focus on factors in the social, economic, and political environments that shape and constrain individual, community, and societal health outcomes. Community members receiving HIV prevention services have organised grassroots groups to reduce their isolation and address problems at a local level. Over time, these groups have formalised into CBOs with the capacity to oversee programming and advocate for improved social welfare and social justice. [May 2013]

V. Revitalise the global partnerships for sustainable development (SDG 17). Result areas:

  • 7. AIDS response is fully funded and efficiently implemented based on reliable strategic information.

    * See, for example, this CI summary:

    Regional Network on HIV/AIDS, Livelihoods, and Food Security (RENEWAL)
    RENEWAL comprised national networks of food- and nutrition-relevant organisations (public, private, and non-governmental) together with partners in AIDS and public health. One of the core pillars was locally prioritised action research. For example, RENEWAL provided support to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the East Africa Community through UNAIDS-funded research into the impact of rising food prices on people living with HIV and those affected by AIDS. RENEWAL also engaged directly with the international AIDS community to demonstrate the relevance of mainstreaming food and nutrition considerations within a broad-based response to the epidemic.

  • 8. People-centred HIV and health services are integrated in the context of stronger systems for health.

    * See, for example, this CI summary:

    HIV, Health and Rights: Sustaining Community Action – Strategy 2013-2020
    This International HIV/AIDS Alliance document sets out high-level direction and sets 17 measurable goals for the Alliance, such as increasing access to health care through integration of HIV programmes into national and state health systems and programmes, with a particular focus on integrating HIV prevention and care into sexual and reproductive health and tuberculosis services, and supporting CBOs to focus on community and health systems strengthening. [Jan 2013]

More places to look:
For HIV and AIDS theme sites, see:
For other health-related theme sites, see:
All aspects of UNAIDS work are directed by the following 6 guiding principles, which are interwoven with the above 8 result areas and aforementioned 10 targets.
  • 1. Aligned to national stakeholders’ priorities:

    * See, for example, these CI summaries:

    Making It Work: Lessons Learnt from Three Regional Workshops to Integrate Human Rights into National HIV Strategic Plans
    To strengthen the rights-based national response to HIV on a global scale, UNAIDS, with the technical support of the Alliance, initiated a project to help national stakeholders (national AIDS programme managers; officials from ministries of health, gender, and justice; civil society representatives, members of affected communities, and UN staff) integrate human rights programmes into National Strategic Plans. A key output was the development of country action plans, drawn up and owned by participants themselves. [Jun 2012]

    Bolstering State Efforts to Implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy: Key Indicators and Recommendations for Policymakers and Community Stakeholders
    Priority actions called for in this advocacy document focus on a more coordinated national (United States) response through: integrated state plans consistent with the National HIV Strategy; collaboration between state and local health departments and human services agencies; and strong public engagement in HIV policy, including annual consumer-friendly reports on progress. The document recommends that community stakeholders, including those living with HIV and their advocates, identify shortcomings in their state and push for changes in policy. [Jul 2015]

  • 2. Based on the meaningful and measurable involvement of civil society, especially people living with HIV and populations most at risk of HIV infection:

    * See, for example, these CI summaries:

    ACT 2015: One Goal, Many Voices
    Driven by 25 HIV-focused, youth-led, and youth-serving civil society organisations (CSOs) in collaboration with UNAIDS, ACT 2015 aims to strengthen the youth HIV community to mobilise for collective action. First, people aged 15-29 hosted community dialogues around the world. Advocacy materials were then developed to support action. A December 2015 meeting brought together youth representatives of national alliances to build capacity on SDGs to ensure that indicators on SRHR and HIV are adopted in country and global reporting mechanisms. Following this, participants will host national trainings with key youth partners. The iCount Competition asks youth to submit a 3-minute video and a completed proposal by February 14 2016. The winning tool will allow young people, including those with low literacy levels, to share information about access to and quality of services, sexuality education, and real-life experiences with sexuality and their health.

    Positive Connections: Leading Information and Support Groups for Adolescents Living with HIV (ALHIV)
    This guide is designed to provide facilitators with background information about the needs of adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV), tips for starting an adult-led information and support group, 14 sessions for support groups, and guidance on tracking a programme’s progress. Technical experts contributed to the guide’s content, and its development was informed by focus group discussions with ALHIV. [Oct 2013]

  • 3. Based on human rights and gender equality:

    * See, for example, these CI summaries:

    Health and Human Rights Resource Guide
    This resource guide “has been designed to be a user-friendly, multi-purpose tool in advocating for health and human rights” – including on HIV and AIDS. According to the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, the guide can be used for many different purposes, including: collaborating with colleagues on strategy development, developing regional or thematic courses and trainings, educating other funders, identifying human rights claims, adapting the case examples in one’s country, and conducting further research. [2014]

    Enhancing Good Practice Documentation with Digital Storytelling: A Reference Manual for Empowering Community-based Organisations and Communities around HIV and Gender
    This manual is intended for programme officers, project leaders, and writer/researchers who are taking, or have taken, a course with SAfAIDS or Women’sNet on integrating digital storytelling with good practice documentation. It focuses on using the techniques to highlight interventions that advocate for HIV and AIDS, women’s rights, gender equality, and sexual diversity programmes. [2012]

  • 5. Promoting comprehensive responses to AIDS that integrate prevention, treatment, care and support:

    * See, for example, these CI summaries:

    Strategic Roles for Health Communication in Combination HIV Prevention and Care Programs
    by Sten H. Vermund, Lynn M. Van Lith, and David Holtgrave
    This paper explores strategic communication, measurement of impact, and the need for continuing evidence “on the continuum of care that is being rolled out in ‘treatment as prevention’ initiatives, PEP, voluntary medical male circumcision, and combination prevention initiatives. Integration of behavioral approaches facilitated by health communication into these biomedical approaches will determine the degree, and speed, of their success.” [Aug 2014]

    Role of Community-Level Factors across the Treatment Cascade: A Critical Review
    by Carol Underwood, Zoé Hendrickson, Lynn Van Lith, John Eudes Lengwe Kunda, and Elizabeth C. Mallalieu
    “Addressing community-level factors (CLFs) is integral to the ongoing effort to design multilevel, effective, and sustainable interventions to address each element of the HIV/AIDS treatment cascade.” This review examined 100 evaluations of communication interventions designed to create a more positive environment for HIV testing and access to treatment and care. Researchers recommend accessing existing data regarding social norms, gender norms, and other such factors to aggregate it and incorporate it into multilevel analysis. [Aug 2014]

  • 6. Based on the principle of non-discrimination:

    * See, for example, these CI summaries:

    HIV and Stigma: The Media Challenge
    As this International Broadcasting Trust (IBT) and International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) research found, although the media has a key role to play in challenging ignorance, prejudice, and fear, while also providing accessible information to support people in accessing sexual and reproductive health and HIV services, “the media is far from reaching its full potential.” [Sep 2014]

    I Can’t Change My HIV Status But You Can Change Your Attitude Campaign
    This 2014 campaign from the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) was built on testimonials (videos, photographs, and text) mobilising South Africans to engage in dialogue and debate around social attitudes towards people living with HIV (PLWHV), while encouraging greater openness and disclosure by PLWHV.

This issue of The Drum Beat was written by Kier Olsen DeVries.
The Drum Beat is the email and web network of The Communication Initiative Partnership.

Full list of the CI Partners:
ANDI, BBC Media Action, Bernard van Leer Foundation, Breakthrough, Citurna TV, Fundación Imaginario, Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI), Heartlines,Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs, Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP), MISA, Open Society Foundations,Oxfam Novib, PAHO, The Panos Institute, Puntos de Encuentro, SAfAIDS, Sesame Workshop, Soul City, STEPS International, UNAIDS, UNICEF, Universidad de los Andes,USAID, World Health Organization (WHO), W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The Drum Beat seeks to cover the full range of communication for development activities. Inclusion of an item does not imply endorsement or support by The Partners.

Chair of the Partners Group: Garth Japhet, Founder, Soul City garth@heartlines.org.za

Executive Director: Warren Feek wfeek@comminit.com

The Editor of The Drum Beat is Kier Olsen DeVries.
Please send additional project, evaluation, strategic thinking, and materials information on communication for development at any time. Send to drumbeat@comminit.com

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