2007 HIV/AIDS Implementers Meeting Held in Rwanda
KIGALI, Rwanda - About 2,000 delegates from around the world gathered here for the 2007 HIV/AIDS Implementers Meeting in June to look at how governments, businesses, the health care sector and others can collaborate in the fight against the epidemic.
The conference from June 16-19 was sponsored by the Government of Rwanda, and co-sponsored by President Bush's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Secretariat of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, the United Nations Children's Fund, the World Bank and the World Health Organization.
The theme of this year's conference, "Scaling Up Through Partnerships," recognized the rapid expansion of HIV/AIDS programs worldwide. Dr. Thomas Kenyon, former BOTUSA Director and now principal deputy U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, said the theme was meant to acknowledge that while the U.S. government is leading a global response to HIV/AIDS through bi-lateral partnerships, "we can't do it alone."
During many presentations various experts stressed the need to make HIV and AIDS programs and services relevant to the people they serve and to involve local communities in the design and implementation of those programs. The Global Network of People Living with AIDS served as the official advisory group, ensuring that people living with HIV/AIDS were represented as expert implementers. The Botswana Network of People Living with AIDS (BONEPWA) was also represented at the highest levels.
Four BOTUSA delegates presented papers, including Administrative Consultant Reuben Haylett, who presented a poster on "Botswana's National AIDS Spending Assessment Methodology"; Mary Grace Alwano, VCT section leader, presented a paper entitled "Opportunities for Growth and Expansion of Prevention with Positives Efforts in Botswana"; Dr. William Jimbo, section leader of PMTCT, presented "National Implementation of Early Infant Diagnosis of HIV Using DNA PCR on Dried Blood Spots (DBS)"; and Monica Smith, section leader of Development and Capacity Building, presented "Caring for Health Workers: Developing a National Strategy for Botswana."
BOTUSA delegates were accompanied by participants from the Botswana government, NGO sector and other partner HIV/AIDS implementing organizations.