June 28, 2013
Noting "in July 2011, UNAIDS launched a joint initiative with PEPFAR ... to help achieve the goal of an AIDS-free generation," Ann Starrs, president and co-founder of Family Care International (FCI), highlights in "The FCI Blog" a report released on Thursday by UNAIDS and PEPFAR "on progress in this important initiative," called the "Global Plan towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children by 2015 and keeping their mothers alive." She provides some details from the report and writes, "But their report almost completely ignores the plan's second target, and in fact the second part of its long title -- '... and keeping their mothers alive.'" The report "does, at a couple of points, vaguely acknowledge that women's lives have value even when they are not carrying or breastfeeding babies," she writes, adding, "Michel Sidibé and Eric Goosby, the heads of UNAIDS and PEPFAR, have both, in many speeches and statements, acknowledged the importance of women, and the right of women living with HIV to get [antiretroviral] treatment for their own health. This report should have reflected that awareness." Starrs concludes, "I hope and expect that the next progress report for the Global Plan will include a clear discussion of the link between HIV infection, maternal mortality, and women's health more generally, and what the agencies are doing to address it" (6/26).
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