Islamabad, 9 December 2020: The Government of Pakistan has recently launched another landmark initiative, the Essential Package of Health Services—its national version of universal health coverage. Universal health coverage is a globally promoted initiative and is in line with Pakistan’s commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly target 3 on health for all and leaving no one behind.

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As COVID-19 pushes the AIDS response even further off track and the 2020 targets are missed, UNAIDS is urging countries to step up action to end AIDS and other pandemics.

Bangkok, 1st December 2020 —In a new report, Prevailing against pandemics by putting people at the centre, UNAIDS is calling on countries to make far greater investments in global pandemic responses and adopt a new set of bold, ambitious but achievable HIV targets. If those targets are met, the world will be back on track to ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.

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On the occasion of World AIDS Day, we recall lessons learned from the HIV epidemic, most especially that restrictive, stigmatizing and punitive measures can lead to significant human rights violations, with disproportionate effects on already vulnerable communities. These insights from the HIV response are especially relevant today as countries grapple with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Campaign messages for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

INTRODUCTION

COVID-19 is not only a health issue, just as HIV never was. It impacts a wide range of human rights, and although it affects all people, it does so unequally. Women and girls in all their diversity are experiencing the greatest impact of the crisis. Their disparate experience is related not only to the virus but also to existing discrimination, gender stereotypes and deeply rooted inequalities including lack of equal access to food, clean water, housing and health services.

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Episode 2: On understanding community needs

In this second episode, we talk with Thomas Cai about his experience working with people who use drugs in Asia to help provide treatment and other services they need to live a life of dignity.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread across the globe, it became clear that fears of contracting COVID-19, misinformation and subsequent stigma were major factors deterring people seeking HIV prevention and treatment services. In response to these insights, regional key population networks from Asia and the Pacific, including ANPUD, APCOM, APN+, APNSW, APTN, ICW AP, Youth LEAD and the IATT on YKP, in collaboration with UNAIDS, came together to implement a regional project to promote access to relevant and timely information about COVID-19 targeted to key populations, and record best practices from community-led responses.

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While pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has been shown to be highly efficacious, with up to 99% protection if the drug is taken as directed, delivering a successful PrEP program is challenging. A recent analysis of the Ashodaya PrEP demonstration project, which provided pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to female sex workers in south India, provides insights to help strengthen PrEP and HIV prevention programs and accelerate implementation beyond demonstration and pilot projects.

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Episode 1: On women who use drugs

In this first episode, we talk with Rosma about her experiences going through over 17 different types of drug treatment and rehabilitation programmes in Indonesia. She bravely opens up about how she started using drugs, struggles with her family, and why she believes it is important to talk about her difficult experiences.