The panel discussion began by Ms. Pinto’s welcoming address, stating that the summary of this discussion would be included in the final report of this high-level meeting series. In this regard, Mr. Metsing called upon panelists to proactively share their countries’ experience in combating HIV for others’ reference.
The discussion began by Dr. Motsoaledi’s speech, that he admitted that many of the developing African nations had neglected children, adolescent girls and young women in their previous to fight against HIV due to culturally-embedded gender-based discrimination. Hence, he suggested that developing nations shall launch campaigns that specifically target the previously-neglected groups. Also, forceful marriage is also common in many African nations, therefore perpetuating women’s disadvantaged position in society. Hence, he called on governments and civil society to formulate polices that target parents by educating them with proper human rights and sexual education, as well as to provide counselling service to parents with HIV-positive children. With regard to the provision of universal sexual education, Dr. Parirenyatwa argued that sexual education shall commence at the age of 10-year old as opposed to starting at high school level, which is too late. Also, he stressed that the training for teachers in sexuality education provision has been inadequate, leading to issues like teaching students with incorrect sexual knowledge or perpetuating stigma towards students with a positive HIV status. Apart from reforming the formal curriculum, Dr. Kasonde called on member states to increase the usage of social media as an effective means of reaching the said target groups given the rapidly growing infiltration rate of smartphone in developing countries, especially amongst the youth.
On the scope of national coverage of HIV treatment, Dr. Coffie articulated a common problem encountered by many developing African nations, that is, the centralization of HIV medical resources at the capital, leaving the rural population unattended. In response, she urged member states and civil society to enlarge their scope of assistance in this regard to not only countries’ capitals, but also other areas in order to leave no one behind.
Meeting: UNAIDS – 2016 High-level Meeting on Ending AIDS: Panel 5 on Children, adolescent girls and young women: preventing new HIV infections
Date/Time/Location: Friday, 10 June, 2016; 10:00 – 13:00; Trusteeship Council Chamber
Speakers: Her Excellency Ms. Ava Rossana Guevara Pinto, Vice-President of Honduras; Co-chair; His Excellency Mr. Mothetjoa Metsing, Deputy Prime Minister of Lesotho; Co-chair, His Excellency Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health of South Africa, His Excellency Dr. Pagwesese David Parirenyatwa, Ministry of Health and Child Care of Zimbabwe, Her Excellency Dr. Raymonde Gogdou Coffie, Ministry of Health of Cote d’Ivoire, His Excellency Dr. Joseph Kasonde, Minister of Health of Zambia
Written by: Raphael LEUNG, WIT Representative
Edited by: Modou Cham, WIT Administrator