Daily Download from AIDS2016: Wednesday 20 July
Dear friends, we are excited to bring you this daily download from the International AIDS Conference in Durban. Each day we'll share our analysis of the sessions and panels that address women and girls' health and rights throughout the conference, photos and ongoing conversations, and updates from the #WhatWomenWant campaign.
Women's Networking Zone
ATHENA is thrilled to have partnered with old friends and new to bring the WNZ to the International AIDS Conference again. It is an essential space by, for and focused on women and girls. The WNZ at IAC has a great program of events, and provides a space for women to come together. We are also supporting the reporting of the WNZ - if you would like to share any thoughts or feedback of your experiences in the WNZ either as a participant or presenter, please get in touch with Jacqui at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HPV, Cervical Cancer and HIV: Leveraging Synergies to Save Women's Lives
This informal dialogue launched a joint advocacy brief on the links between HIV, HPV and cervical cancer, developed by the WHO, UNAIDS and the Global Coalition on Women and AIDS. Yvonne Chaka Chaka gave powerful speech on the importance and approach to achieving meaningful youth participation in all policy and guideline development, and the event was moderated by Ebony Johnson.
Using Social Media to Amplify Women's Voices: #WhatWomenWant workshop and skills building session
Fantastic facilitators Jacqui, Resty and L'Orangelis
On Wednesday afternoon in the WNZ, a full house participated in this workshop to develop skills and actions plans to take advocacy goals online. #WhatWomenWant champion Resty introduced the campaign and shared how the campaign has been a platform for her to connect her advocacy and consultations with young women to the global stage. ATHENA's Jacqui talked through the process of defining advocacy goals, choosing the right hashtag and building support. #WhatWomenWant champion L'Orangelis shared a resource that she has developed to conduct effective online campaigning for ICW's CAGYW. Participants then developed their own social media campaign action plans to take home and put into action! At the end of the session one participant signed up to Twitter and sent her very first tweet with her campaign hashtag!
The HIV Prevention Landscape for Women: A look at new & emerging prevention options, including PrEP, vaginal rings and new products in development
Panelists Annalene Nel of IPM, Wanjiru Mukoma of LVCT Health, Manju Chatani of AVAC, James Kiarie of WHO, and 2005 AVAC fellow Maureen Luba, among others, presented the scientific context of current HIV prevention tools, including the dapivirine ring and PrEP, in this session that brought together research and community perspectives. The audience pushed researchers to address challenging questions, such as how to prioritize certain segments within the broad 'young women and adolescent girls' demographic, to which Dr. Wanjiru Mukoma of Kenya acknowledged that only with time will we be able to quantify and characterize demand for PrEP. A dynamic panel of young women then took the stage, including Thobile and Mrs. Shabalala, two Aspire Trial participants; Bathabile, a sex worker from Zimbabwe who participated in the SAPPH-Ire PrEP demo study; and 3 civil society members from the HIV and reproductive justice movements. Several trial members shared positive experiences, while Bathabile spoke of research implementation gaps where the participants may be vulnerable and uneducated, highlighting the importance of peer-to-peer adherence programs. “I started sex work when I was 14 years old, meaning I never finished school. I couldn’t even understand the consent form presented to me". Outspoken activist Nomtika Mjwama from Cape Town stressed the need for young women’s lived realities to shape outreach strategies. Prevention messages centered on fear and sickness do not reach young people where they are; funky and fun messages centered on having sex for pleasure do.