3rd Latin American/Caribbean (LAC) Technical Meeting on STD, HIV-AIDS & Disability
August 1st and 2nd, 2008
City of Mexico
Organized by the Inter-American Institute on Disability and Inclusive Development (IIDI) and the World Bank With support from the National Council to Prevent Discrimination (CONAPRED, Mexico), the Central American Social Integration System (SISCA), the National Program of STI and AIDS (Brazil) and the Pan American Health Organization
XVII International Conference on AIDS (Mexico August 3rd to 8th 2008)
People with disability have often been and remained excluded from HIV prevention as well as AIDS care efforts as a result of an aggregation of various taboos and coordination miss opportunities. On one hand, it is often presumed that people with disability are not sexually active and at no risk of infection. Simultaneously, the fact that they have less access to education and social opportunities prevents them from being in touch with preventive information and resources. On the other hand, the organizations of people with disability are generally unknown and themselves unaware of the health and prevention policy making and programming opportunities.
The result of all this is that the exposure of men and women with disabilities to the main risk factors of HIV-AIDS are higher compared to non-disabled population. At the same time, while people living with AIDS have a higher survival rate due to medical advances, a frequent consequence is that there are an increasing number of disabilities (mainly physical and sensorial limitations) secondary to the disease itself or its pharmacologic treatment, indicating emerging needs and services to respond and coordinate.
Over the past two years, sponsored by the World Bank, the Inter-American Institute on Disability and Inclusive Development (IIDI), in collaboration with several international organizations working in the HIV-AIDS and Disability areas has organized two Technical Meetings (Chile 2006 and Argentina 2007) on STDs, HIV-AIDS and Disability. The main purpose of these meetings has been to facilitate knowledge shearing amongst specialists and encourage policy development to address the increasing interrelation amongst AIDS and Disability.
The main axes of this work have been on
a. Documenting the interface between aids and disability and compiling evidence of emerging needs and responses
b. Identifying opportunities for active collaboration between organizations working in the AIDS and the inclusion fields, to optimise use of existing resources and promote inter-institutional approaches to inclusive aids prevention and rehabilitation services delivery to people living with AIDS.
In 2008, with the support of CONAPRED (in Spanish Consejo Nacional para Prevenir la Discriminación, México), the World Bank and PAHO-WHO the 3rd Technical Meeting will be held in Mexico, on August 1-2, to coincide with the AIDS International Conference (August 3-8, 2008). It will continue working on recommendations for crosscutting and inclusive approaches HIV-AIDS Prevention and Care.
The 3rd Experts Meeting on STDs, HIV-AIDS and Disability, seeks to advance the discussion on “Evidence-based Research on the inter connections between AIDS and Disability” and on “Care for people living with AIDS and Disabilities: effective approaches and services”.
The expected outcomes of the meeting are:
o Review of new developments in LAC National AIDS Programs;
o Update bibliographical and research review on the topic;
o Review of new materials and initiatives of international agencies, Civil Society and Academia;
o Review of new content and tools for the LAC HIV-AIDS site on the issue;
o Development of a new set of recommendations for a cross-cutting and inclusive approaches in the area of STD, HIV-AIDS Prevention and Care, with special focus in “Monitoring & Evaluation and Evidence-based Research and on Care Attention for people living with AIDS and Disabilities, as a consequence of the treatment;
o Establishment of a LAC Permanent Working Group, with interagency involvement, south-to-south knowledge sharing and a joint research and implementation agenda;
Participants: Program Managers, Researchers, Practitioner and AIDS and Disability specialists from Latin American and the Caribbean
Venue: National Council to Prevent Discrimination (CONAPRED, Mexico), Dante 14 – 8o piso, Colonia Anzures, Ciudad de México
Friday August 1st
09.30 Challenges on AIDS Prevention and Care and Disability
10. 00 Conclusions from the 1st Brazilian and Central American Forums on AIDS and Disability – Discussion
11.30 Services for people living with HIV AIDS and Disabilities
14.00 Working groups
Saturday August 2nd
09.00 AIDS and Disability: from taboo to collaboration
09.30 Implementation experiences / Questions and answers
11.00 Emerging topics
o Services development (diagnosis, care, prevention)
o Research and evidences: people living with aids and disabilities secondary to the disease itself or its pharmacological treatment
o Vulnerability of PWD to STI and AIDS
12.30 Lunch and meeting with Ministries of Health and Education*
14.00 Approaches and future strategies
o Monitoring and Evaluation
o Regional Collaboration
16.00 Plenary – Strategic collaboration
* To be confirmed
Other related activities in Mexico
o “Satellite Session on AIDS and Disability”, organized by Disabled People International (DPI). August 5th 7:00 to 8.30 am (in English)
o “AIDS and Disability: a relationship to be taken into account”, organized by the Inter American Institute on Disability and Inclusive Development (IIDI) August 5th 6:30 to 8:30pm (in Spanish)
o “AIDS and Disability: a relationship to be taken into account”, Poster session, (daily, August 3-8) between 12:00-14:00h
Unfortunately, we have not resources to cover flight or other expenses for participants. We hope that participants can gather support from their organizations to travel to Mexico. Please confirm ASAP your willingness to participate. Your participation is extremely important to us and to ensure the inclusion of disability issues amongst the STD and HIV-AIDS agenda in the Latin American and Caribbean Region.
We Can Do received this announcement via the Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD) email discussion group.
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In late November, We Can Do shared the news that Rosangela Berman Bieler, a Brazilian journalist and disability advocate was to receive an International Services Human Rights Award on December 5, 2007. Berman Bieler was unable to make the trip to London, but a friend of hers–Catalina Devandas–received the award on her behalf. Devandas read a statement from Berman Bieler at the awards ceremony. Rosangela has graciously given permission to publish her statement here.
Statement by Rosangela Berman Bieler – International Services Human Rights Award
First of all, I would like to express my deep appreciation to International Services for establishing this Human Rights Award and to including Disability Rights as a relevant area. I humbly thank the IS selection panel and supporters for considering my name amongst such a distinguished group of Human Rights Champions from around the world. It is for me a huge honor to be part of the IS partnership.
This award comes in a unique moment, when Disability rights advocates from all over the planet are working together to give visibility and to maximize the number of nations that ratify the new Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
This twenty-first century’s first human rights treaty was adopted by the United Nations a year ago and opened for signatures on March 30, 2007. To date, 118 nations have indicated support of the treaty and interest in ratification. As of today, 10 nations have ratified (Croatia, Cuba, Gabon, Hungary, India, Spain, Bangladesh, South Africa, Jamaica, and Panama). The treaty becomes legally binding 30 days after the 20th nation ratifies it.
According to the UN, approximately 10 percent of the world’s population has a disability. This translates into over 600 millions disabled people living around the world, being more than 400 million in developing countries. For every disabled person, there are at least three other members of the household indirectly affected by disability. The largest increase in the number of people with disabilities will happen in the age bracket of 65 years or more. And the world population is aging…
Today Disability is understood as the result of the interaction between people with different levels of functioning and an environment that does not take these differences into account. Disability is part of each and every individual’s life cycle. Beyond the typical areas of disability (motor, hearing, visual, and mental/intellectual), persons in general face “disabling” conditions in a society that is unprepared to recognize and respond to human diversity.
People with physical, sensory or mental limitations are often disabled not because of a diagnosable condition, but because they are denied access to education, labor markets, and public services. This exclusion leads to poverty and, in a vicious circle, poverty leads to more disability by increasing people’s vulnerability to malnutrition, disease, and unsafe living and working conditions.
Accordingly to the World Bank, it is expected that the number of people with disabilities will increase by 120%, in the next 30 years in developing countries. The increase is of 40% in more developed countries. It is estimated that 100 million people in the world acquired a disability due to malnutrition.
About 80-90% of disabled people in the Latin-American Region are unemployed or outside the work force. Most of those who have jobs receive little or no monetary remuneration. In my native country, Brazil, the 2000 Census shows that, of the 24.650.000 Brazilians with disability, 27% live in situation of extreme poverty and 53% are poor.
Universal inclusion is not only a human rights issue and a principle for equity, but also an operational strategy to general a better and sustainable society for all. To improve the efficacy of social and economic development actions and to reach all manifestations of human diversity, public policies, from design to implementation, must take all human characteristics and needs into account.
Human Rights are exercised in the mainstream society, in the daily life of each one of us. The means for this full exercise are provided by fair and equitable public policies for all. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a strong and effective instrument to orient and assist governments to implement policies and actions under an inclusive development approach.
The UN Convention recognizes the fundamental importance of getting disabled people ourselves involved in the process of our emancipation and reinforces the concept of “Nothing About Us, Without US”, used by the disability field to claim full participation. Under this premises, together with my peers and supporters of the Disability field, I would like to call all governments to immediately ratify the CRPD and start making the ideal of an inclusive Society, into a reality.
Thank you very much for this opportunity and let’s continue working together for a planet and a society where life is valued, diversity is celebrated and dignity is for all.
Inter-American Institute on Disability & Inclusive Development
Instituto Interamericano sobre Discapacidad y Desarrollo Inclusivo
Instituto Inter-Americano sobre Deficiência & Desenvolvimento Inclusivo
Rosangela Berman Bieler
IIDI Inter-American Office:
27-37 27th Street, #1B,
New York, NY 11102
Tel: 1(347) 738-6472
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