AIDS 2018: Will Decriminalisation Resolve the Problem of HIV

Maybe one of the most important sessions at the recent 22nd International AIDS Conference AIDS 2018 held in Amsterdam was the session, which raised the question why we still fail in responding to the epidemic among people who inject drugs. Participants of the session were able to consider this problem from the different points of view: science, law enforcement and community of people who use drugs.

Methadone is good for police

For over 20 years, Professor Nick Crofts from the University of Melbourne has been working to engage police in HIV response. He considers that decriminalisation is an absolute necessity to resolve the problem.

“We fail responding to the epidemic because we have failed to enlist police as partners in the response to HIV,” he says. “Changing the situation, first of all, requires changing the role of police, which will, in turn, help bringing the marginalized communities back to the society.”

In Australia, Professor Crofts and his allies were able to convince the police that such harm reduction programmes as methadone therapy and syringe exchange may benefit police as well as the rest of the community.

“We still have not introduced harm reduction courses in police academies, have not adequately educated police and have not fostered the role of peer educators, which is important not only in the traditional environment of activists, but also in such specific group as future or current police officers. Police officers may listen only to other police officers,” says Nick Crofts with a smile.

HIV for culture change

It is essential to find police officers who support the idea of harm reduction and educate them so that they can then educate their colleagues in relevant agencies.

“Find at least one or two individuals who want to do something different! Find them and give them your support!” exclaims Professor Crofts.

HIV may be a starting point to change the culture of the police. For a start, we need to engage the police, hold joint workshops with people from civil society and police, foster gender diversity in the police (to recruit more female police officers) and, finally, include harm reduction into the programme of police academies.

However, the Professor points out that it may sound pie in the sky talking about police in some countries.

“A third of them understand harm reduction, a third can understand and another third will never understand. Our goal is to find those people who understand or can understand it and work with them until they outnumber those who will never understand harm reduction,” he says.

“Narcotic ration” for Russia

Dr. M-J Milloy, the epidemiologist from Vancouver, tells about an interesting case, which occurred in his city back in the 1990s. Back then, there was already a large needle and syringe exchange programme in Vancouver and methadone was available. The epidemic among people who use drugs had successfully been curbed, but suddenly there was an unexpected outbreak of new HIV cases. How could it happen in a city with a well-developed harm reduction programme? It was explained with the fact that people could not access the necessary services when they were incarcerated.

Epidemiologists found out that incarceration was one of the key factors increasing the risk of HIV acquisition and one in five new HIV cases in Vancouver was a result of incarceration.

At the same time, experts estimate that in Russia every hour ten people are infected with HIV, while tuberculosis is the main reason of mortality among those who live with HIV. Most of them are people who inject drugs. The country does not offer evidence-based treatment to people who use drugs, i.e. there is no methadone, which, according to a recent statement from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is a “narcotic ration.”

AIDS 2018: Prevention Focused on Key Populations

Source: www.aids2018.org

Author: Marina Maximova, Kazakhstan

Just before the 22nd International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam AIDS 2018, a new Global AIDS Update prepared by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) was presented in Paris. The report shows that the HIV epidemic is still growing in the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA). In the recent year, the number of new HIV cases in the region has doubled.

Participants of AIDS 2018 debated a lot on the reasons of this trend. Experts explained it, in particular, with a lack of prevention programmes, especially among people who inject drugs (PWID). Today, they account for over half of the new HIV cases. That is why implementation of the innovative multilevel interventions aimed at HIV prevention in key populations is to be continued.

For several years already, the Global Health Research Center of Central Asia (GHRCCA) and the Social Intervention Group (SIG) of Columbia University have been implementing projects and evidence-based interventions aimed at HIV prevention among key populations in the region, in particular in Kazakhstan. The results and achievements of three of such projects were presented at a special session of AIDS 2018.

Good News from NOVA

Assel Terlikbayeva

Assel Terlikbayeva, GHRCCA Regional Director:

NOVA Project is the first intervention combining harm reduction services and microfinance for women in difficult life circumstances. In two years, about 500 women from vulnerable populations – sex workers and people who use drugs – developed their skills to reduce the risks of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Women received professional training in sewing and hairdressing. The most active participants received micro loans to start their own businesses. About 82% of project participants were able to open savings accounts, and many of them did it in the NOVA Project. About 70% of project participants were qualified for non-repayable allowances to start their own businesses, while 36% of women were able to use this opportunity.

Renaissance is possible

Louisa Gilbert

Louisa Gilbert, PhD, GHRCCA Co-Director:

The Renaissance Project is an innovative HIV prevention intervention aimed at PWID couples. Project results are inspiring first of all for its participants. Here is some of the optimistic statistics: unsafe sexual behaviours among project participants and their sexual partners were reduced by 42%, hepatitis C incidence decreased by 69% and HIV incidence – by over a half in the harm reduction group as compared to the control group.

Throughout the project, there were 89 instances when Naloxone was successfully used to reverse overdoses: in 15 cases, the medication was used to deliver first aid and saved lives of the Renaissance Project participants and in 74 cases – of PWID partners and their immediate circle.

PWID choose trust

Nabila El-Bassel

Nabila El-Bassel, PhD, Executive Director of GHRCCA and SIG, Professor of Columbia University:

In the recent year, the number of PWID visiting pilot confidential counselling sites and going through HIV rapid testing has more than doubled. It is very important that the number of new HIV cases detected at such pilot sites has grown. Implementing evidence-based strategies in routine activities allowed scaling up PWID coverage with harm reduction and HIV testing services. It became possible through the Bridge Project.

Besides, the project enhanced the role of outreach workers in finding and recruiting new clients as well as the role of nurses in working with HIV-positive people. Implementing electronic data collection helps to improve tracking and monitoring of the services and referrals provided.

AIDS 2018: Engaging Young People who use Drugs in the HIV and Human Rights Response in Ukraine

Source: www.aids2018.org

Ukraine presented its experience in engaging young people who use drugs in the HIV and human rights response during International AIDS Conference AIDS 2018 in Amsterdam. Organisations ACO “Convictus Ukraine”, ICF “AIDS Foundation East-West” (AFEW-Ukraine), CF “Return to Life” and CF “KCF “Blago” shared the results of their work.

Club for teenagers

The main purpose of the activity in the framework of the PITCH project is to prevent the spread of HIV and other dangerous diseases among vulnerable adolescents and to develop healthy lifestyle habits, the director of “Convictus Ukraine” Yevheniia Kuvshynova is saying.

In their work, “Convictus” team is actively using mobile clinic where they provide services for teenagers. A multidisciplinary team is operating on the basis of a mobile clinic. The mobile clinic helps them to bring the services to those who are not covered with prevention and treatment programs. There is also a school of leaders and a Street power youth club, where teenagers can spend their leisure time and receive help from psychologist or social workers, get information, medical services, testing, etc. Around 500 teenagers received services in the club.

Accepted the monitoring tool

Iryna Nerubaieva

The project manager of the ICF “AIDS Foundation East-West” (AFEW-Ukraine) Iryna Nerubaieva shared the results of the piloting of the tool for monitoring the violations of human rights of most-at-risk adolescents which was developed and implemented in the framework of the project Bridging the Gaps: Health and Rights for Key Populations. From January till December 2017 in four pilot cities, 792 interviews with adolescents and youth aged 14-21 were conducted. 430 adolescents were 14-18 years old. The number of cases of human rights violations registered in an online form was 92 of all surveyed. A young activist of the CF “Return to Life” Daria Kopyevska, a social worker of the CF “KCF “Blago”Alina Khokhlova and a lawyer and AFEW-Ukraine’s consultant Vita Musatenko also shared their experience.

“It is good to see that teenagers realized why they need this tool, and how social workers accepted it. Now they know how that it will help in their work,” Vita Musatenko is saying.

According to the latest estimates, the number of most-at-risk adolescents is 129 000, including 21 700 injection drug users. However, there is no official data on the exact number of most-at-risk adolescents, including underage drug users. In Ukraine, most-at-risk adolescents represent a very closed group, thus the lack of statistical data, stigma, discrimination and legal barriers make their access to HIV/STI services more complicated.

 

AFEW International Receives Grant from the Elton John AIDS Foundation

Sir Elton John during International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam

Author: Olesya Kravchuk, AFEW International

AFEW International received the Emergency Support Fund Manager grant from the Elton John AIDS Foundation. This news was announced during the 22nd International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam. AFEW has got this grant together with AIDSfonds.

Within this ‘Emergency Support Fund Manager” grant, AFEW will use its long-lasting expertise and history in grant-making and support to strengthen the capacity of Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) to overcome emergencies and to become stronger organisations.

Louise van Deth, Director of AIDSfgonds

“We are very honoured to receive this grant that will last three years,” says the executive director of AFEW International Anke van Dam. “Access to the treatment in Eastern Europe and Central Asia is a crucial need, particularly for key populations most at risk and people living with HIV. Unfortunately, not more than 30% of people living with HIV have access to the treatment. Stock outs of anti-retroviral treatment (ART) do happen, and the Emergency Support Fund is a great means to avoid this.”

AFEW will disburse emergency grants to enable key populations CBOs and NGOs in Eastern Europe and Central Asia to survive emergency situations and to be prepared or avoid emergencies in the future. NGOs and CBOs often deal with emergency situations due to a restrictive legal environment for key populations at risk for HIV, stigma and discrimination of those groups and a limited space to operate as a CBO and NGO.

AIDS 2018 Session with Translation into Russian

More than 35 sessions of the main program of the 22nd International AIDS Conference AIDS 2018 will be translated simultaneously into Russian. By the way, simultaneous translation into Russian is provided for the first time after the break since the AIDS conference in 2010. The translation of many sessions became possible due to the private initiative and financial provision of equipment and translators from AFEW International with financial support of Gilead, Janssen Cilag and Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. All events and sessions in the booth of Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA booth) will be provided by a consecutive translation from Russian into English and from English into Russian.

Download the main program session, which will be translated into Russian here (Russian) and here (English).

AFEW Network at AIDS 2018

AFEW Network at the 22nd International AIDS Conference AIDS 2018 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, July 23-27, 2018

Date Status Event title and type Place
21/07 – 22/07 Pre-Conference Youth

Empowermentand Validation

Roeterseiland Campus: Roetersstraat 1012 WX, Amsterdam
21/07

15:00-18:00

Affiliated event Theatre play in the framework of the

Teenergizerproject “Voices of Youth from Eastern Europe and Central Asia at AIDS 2018”

CREA Cultureel Studentencentrum – Nieuwe Achtergracht 170, Amsterdam
22/07

10:45-11:45

Affiliated event Roundtable: A person-centred response to the epidemic, Journalist Fellowship training RAI, Elicium Centre D203
22/07

14:30

Affiliated event Opening of ATLAS 2018 exhibition: I will speak, I will speak! Beurs van Berlage

Damrak 243, 1012 ZJ Amsterdam

22/07 Pre-Conference Meeting 90-90-90 targets is not the end of AIDS; Joep Lange Institute;

Mayors of Kyiv and Almaty

RAI
23/07

08:30 – 10:00

Open for public Walking the walk: youth movements to fight

HIV epidemic in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

RAI, Global Village
23/07

11:30-12:30

Open for

public

Art and Social Change: a dialogue with artists and social and health professionals on how culture and social initiatives can strengthen each other. Guided tour along the artworks with AFEW Culture Initiative lead Jan van Esch and and Ambassador International Cultural Collaboration Arjen Uijterlinde RAI, Global Village

ActivEast community zone 515

23/07

14:30-15:00

Open for public Artists Displaced at AIDS 2018: guided tours of the series of installations by the Artists-in-Residence (AiRs) and the project curator RAI, Global Village

ActivEast community zone

24/07 Open for public Strength in Resilience: Learning from key population communities in EECA confronted with shrinking civil society space RAI, Global Village

ActivEast community zone 515

24/07

10:30-11:30

Open for public Meet, Greet and Brainstorm on

Harmreductionand the EU Parliamentary elections 2019

RAI stand COALITION PLUS (exhibition zone)
24/07

11:00-12:00

Open for public Meet & greet RAI, Global Village, booth 509 (Prison Corner)
24/07

11:30-12:00

& 14:30-15:00

Open for public Artists Displaced at AIDS 2018: guided tours of the series of installations by the Artists-in-Residence (AiRs) and the project curator RAI, Global Village

ActivEast community zone

24/07

16:30-18:00

Open for

public

Panel discussion: Protecting people who migrate in countries of origin, transit and destination RAI Forum
24/07

18:00-19:30

Open for public Prison Health a Logic Choice: Key Implementation Factors RAI AFEW Office,

Amtrium2nd floor, above the entrance to the Global village

25/07

10:00-12:00

Open for

public

Panel discussion: Providing health services in prisons: addressing inequities, preventing and treating HIV and TB RAI UNAIDS Office Space, meeting room 2
25/07

11:30-12:00

& 14:30-15:00

Open for public Artists Displaced at AIDS 2018: guided tours of the series of installations by the Artists-in-Residence (AiRs) and the project curator RAI, Global Village

ActivEast community zone

25/07

16:00-17:30

open AFEW Network‘s Experience in strengthening community monitoring and involvement in service delivery: From

grassrootto policy level

Global Village, Eastern Europe and Central Asian Networking zone
26/07 10.30-11.30 open for public Strength in resilience: learning from key population communities confronted with shrinking civil society space AIDS Fonds Networking zone
26/07

11:15-12:15

open for public Bridging the Gaps: Health and Rights of Key Populations and PITCH. Engaging young people who use drugs in Ukraine in the HIV and human rights response RAI, Global Village, booth 509 (Prison Corner)
26/07

11:30-12:00

& 14:30-15:00

Open for public Artists Displaced at AIDS 2018: guided tours of the series of installations by the Artists-in-Residence (AiRs) and the project curator RAI, Global Village

ActivEast community zone

26/07

12:45-13:15

open for public HIV prevention, treatment and care in prisons activities in Eastern Europe/former Soviet Union countries RAI, Global Village, booth 509 (Prison Corner)
26/07

14:45-15:15

open for public Press moment: “Don’t let the prisoners behind” RAI, Global Village, booth 509 (Prison Corner)
26/07

16:30 – 18:00

For AIDS2018 delegates Workshop Migration in Eastern Europe and Central Asia: access to health care for all? RAI, E105-108
26/07

21:00 – 24:00

Open event AFEW Disco “From EECA with Love” Tolhuistuin – IJpromenade 2, 1031 KT Amsterdam
27/07

11:30-12:00

Open for public Artists Displaced at AIDS 2018: guided tours of the series of installations by the Artists-in-Residence (AiRs) and the project curator RAI, Global Village

ActivEast community zone

                                                                               Activities throughout AIDS2018
Date Status Title Place
22/07 – 27/07 Open for public Dutch Approach Booth RAI, Global Village
22/07 – 27/07 Open for public EECA Region Networking zone RAI, Global Village, EECA networking zone

ActivEast community zone, 515

22/07 – 27/07 Open for public Harm Reduction, People Who Use Drugs and Prison Health Networking Zone RAI, Global Village
23/07 – 27/07 Open for public The Walking History Corridor: Visualising the Mythologies of HIV/AIDS, the Caucasus and Beyond RAI, 812

corridor that is linking the Global Village with the main Conference Space

23/07 – 27/07 Open for public Transparent Dining: An Evolving Museum of Life Experiences, Social Commentary and Culinary Gatherings by and for Women Affected by HIV/AIDS in the EECA Region RAI, outside of the Global Village
23/07 – 27/07 Open for public Putting on a different lens: sex work, harm reduction and medical research in the Netherlands viewed through an artistic Eastern European and Central Asian lens RAI, Global Village – 823, time TBD

 

AFEW Network Issues Guide for AIDS 2018 Visitors

With 22nd International AIDS Conference approaching in about two weeks, AFEW Network issued a guide for AIDS 2018 visitors with the useful information. The guide provides general information about Amsterdam – the home city for AIDS 2018. It also has information on public transport, drug policy, medical services, police, culture in the Netherlands, and practical questions.

The guide is in English and Russian languages and it can be downloaded here.

Stigma Affects the Motivation for HIV Testing

Author: Marina Maximova, Kazakhstan

As estimated by UNAIDS, 35 million people globally died of AIDS-associated diseases since the onset of the epidemic. People living with HIV die of tuberculosis, cancers, hepatitis… Meanwhile, there is no data on how many lives are lost to stigma. Today stigma is the strongest barrier for testing among those who are not aware of their status and for receiving services among people living with HIV (PLWH).

Migrant with HIV double stigma

Salavat Kabjalelov is an outreach worker and a peer consultant in the Zabota (‘Care’) Charitable Foundation. He helps labour migrants: offers consultations on HIV, tells about the need to get tested, navigates clients for diagnostics to the AIDS Centre and to the tuberculosis clinic. Salavat can find the right words for every client. He had no citizenship or registration, no access to antiretroviral treatment (ART) and he wanted to hide not only from his problems but also from hostile stares and rough remarks of people around him.

Salavat Kabjalelov

He and his wife lived a quiet life, not seeking medical care. For migrants, the main thing is their job, not their health. Then, three years ago something tragic happened. Salavat lost his wife. The young woman died of cancer.

“I tried to arrange hospice care for my wife. I was even ready to pay for it, but it was not possible. They refused me. She was living with HIV. It appeared that it was more important to be a citizen. If you had a severe disease, it was not an argument. The good news is that now the situation in Kazakhstan is improving and migrants with HIV will be provided with ART. However, it will not bring my wife back,” complains Salavat.

Everyone goes through self-stigma

Lyubov Chubukova

Lyubov Chubukova works in the Kazakhstan Union of People Living with HIV. She is a delicate woman of strong character, who can convince people both from the tribunes of international forums and in one-on-one arguments. Twelve years of living with HIV made her a leader. She experienced stigma in a private health centre where she came when she got pregnant – young and confused. An older woman gave her an advice – to seek health services only in the AIDS Centre. However, Lyubov says that her self-stigma was even stronger. Every person who learns about having HIV faces this problem.

“I no longer consider myself a victim as it makes it impossible for me to live and grow. Good support in fighting self-stigma is trusting people and knowing your rights. You have to live on, not restricting yourself, and overcome your fears. Otherwise, you may reach the worst point,” says Lyubov.

Lyubov does not hide her status. Vice versa, she often takes part in TV shows and open discussions as an expert. She is convinced that stigma affects the motivation for HIV testing. People are afraid to get tested for HIV as they are worried that their test may come back positive. At the same time, if a person living with HIV starts the therapy too late, the probability of treatment success is much lower and it can even lead to death of the patient.

Every tenth person living with HIV has suicidal thoughts

Three years ago, the Central Asian Association of People Living with HIV within the Leader of People Living with HIV Project funded by USAID for the first time in the region carried out a survey to assess the index of stigma in three Central Asian countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Results of the study in Kazakhstan showed that every tenth person living with HIV had suicidal thoughts. PLWH aged 30 and above suffer most from self-stigma as well as people with small (one to nine years) history of living with HIV. Self-discrimination mainly leads to the decision not to have any more children. Every third person living with HIV in the country makes such a decision.

The study demonstrated that the experience of injecting drug use as well as the experience of imprisonment were the drivers of stigma towards people living with HIV. Most often, PLWH faced discrimination from the side of health workers (first of all, refusal to provide health care) and public officials, while discrimination from the side of their immediate social environment was far less common. Moreover, the cases of discrimination were accumulated in the first ten years of a person living with HIV.

No silence about stigma

Baurzhan Bayserkin

The first step in overcoming stigma is to break the wall of silence. Approval of regulations at the country level is a real victory. In the beginning of the year, the National Plan to Fight Stigma and Discrimination against People Living with HIV was approved in Kazakhstan.

“Stigma and discrimination related to HIV status are the major barriers for PLWH to access prevention, care and support services. To end the spread of HIV, a focus should be made on the complete eradication of discrimination, first of all in health institutions. It will allow achieving a significant reduction in the growth of HIV epidemic,” says Baurzhan Bayserkin, General Director of the Republican AIDS Centre.

Kazakhstani are going to continue this discussion at the 22nd International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam AIDS 2018.

IVF for Women with HIV in Ukraine: Bringing the Right to Have a Child Back

Svetlana Moroz (second on the right) discusses the elimination of the discriminatory norms at a round table. Photo by Positive Women NGO.

Authors: Yana Kazmirenko, Tamara Balayeva, Ukraine

In Ukraine, amendments are prepared to the regulations of the Ministry of Health (MoH) prohibiting in vitro fertilisation (IVF) for women living with HIV. Currently, HIV is in the list of diseases, which are contraindications for IVF, approved by the MoH. In Western countries, IVF has been successfully delivered to women living with HIV for a long time. Ukrainian activists strive for the prohibition on in vitro fertilisation for women living with HIV to be abolished.

In early July, a round table discussion was held in the Public Health Centre at the MoH. At AIDS 2018 in Amsterdam, activists are planning to meet with Ulana Suprun, Acting Minister of Health of Ukraine, to present their insights and explain why it is so important to abolish the outdated regulations.

Discrimination and self-stigmatization

There is no statistics on how many women living with HIV apply for IVF in Ukraine every year and are refused. Svetlana Moroz, representing the Positive Women NGO, sent relevant requests to 10 regions. So far, there have been no replies. Svetlana says that information about the attempts of women living with HIV to make IVF is shared only among civil society activists.

A woman with HIV status sought help in their organization. After long searches, she found a clinic in Kharkiv, which was ready to work with women living with HIV

“She made two attempts, which have not been successful so far. Another woman from Sloviansk used her advice and also sought assistance in this clinic, but she had a miscarriage,” tells Svetlana.

She says that some private clinics agree to make IVF to women living with HIV but do not advertise it due to the orders of the MoH. Such clinics charge their clients a double price because of the possible risks. Other health facilities use standard excuses: lack of equipment or reference to HIV being on the list of contraindications for IVF.

Apart from the MoH orders and reluctance of clinics, there is another barrier – self-stigmatization. According to Svetlana Moroz, many women living with HIV do not even try to seek assistance in IVF clinics: they know that they will face a refusal or do not know that they even have such a right.

All IVF risks are myths

Valentina Kvashenko, chief physician of the A.A. Partners Health Company also thinks that refusal to make IVF to HIV-positive women is a discriminatory practice and that concerns about the risks of HIV transmission are ungrounded. Doctors carry out all the manipulations with semen and eggs with disposable catheters and needles. In the course of deliveries, they wear gloves, glasses, and aprons. The same safety precautions are used during all standard deliveries. Usually, only one embryo is transferred to women with HIV status to reduce the potential need of invasive interventions.

“There is no need in “prohibiting” regulations, due to which people are not able to perform their reproductive functions and become parents,” says Valentina, adding that HIV may be transmitted from mother to child, but only if the woman is not taking antiretroviral therapy (ART).

She gives statistics to prove her words: in 1996-1997, when there was no access to antiretroviral drugs in Ukraine, HIV was transmitted from mother to child in 60% of cases. Now this rate is less than 10%. Even this percentage only relates to children born to women who do not receive ART. Besides, the IVF procedure reduces the risk of virus transmission to a minimum.

Litigation for the right to IVF

If the letter to the Ministry of Health will not give a result and will not allow to promptly introduce amendments to the regulations, the activists have a second option – legal action.

“We will work on creating a legal case. The fact is that the MoH regulations contradict the laws of Ukraine, which do not prohibit in vitro fertilization for HIV-positive women. If nothing else works, we will find a woman living with HIV who is ready to go all the way and defend her rights in court,” explains Svetlana Moroz.

It is expected that draft amendments to the regulations will be ready and presented to the Ministry of Health in late November. While the old regulations are still in force, Svetlana gives recommendations to women who are refused the IVF services.

“Always demand official refusals. With the doctor’s words only, you will not be able to file a lawsuit in court and all the more to win it. Secondly, seek assistance in human rights organizations. For example, our organization is ready to provide free lawyers’ services to women, help them to prepare the required documents and in general offer all the necessary legal support,” sums up Svetlana.

After the discriminatory regulations are abolished, Ukrainian women living with HIV will have a right to participate in the state-funded IVF program for childless couples.

Movies That Matter on AIDS 2018

Lucky specials. Source: www.moviesthatmatter.nl

The 22nd International AIDS Conference AIDS 2018 in Amsterdam, Netherlands provides a unique forum for the intersection of science, advocacy, and human rights. The Global Village of the Conference intersects with the main conference programme, blending scientific sessions with cultural activities, live performances, networking zones, NGO booths, marketplace booths, and art exhibits. The Global Village is open to the general public and creates a diverse and vibrant space where communities from all over the world gather to meet, share and learn from each other. 23-26 July Movies That Matter will present four films in The Global Village that match the themes of the conference.

Founded in March 2006, Movies that Matter followed the footsteps of the Amnesty International Film Festival. It continued and enhanced the festival’s activities, both in the Netherlands and abroad. Movies that Matter believes that film is a powerful weapon against social indifference. What cannot be accomplished by spoken and written language, can be achieved by motion picture. Cinema fascinates, stimulates, inspires and raises awareness. Films have an emotional appeal and serve as a mouthpiece for victims of injustice.

Movies that Matter film screenings are not complete without an expansion programme, in the form of debates, introductions, speeches or Q&A sessions. Human rights defenders, filmmakers, experts and representatives of social organisations jointly analyse the situations in which human rights are at stake in order to put things in perspective.

Film agenda on AIDS 2018

KIKI
Monday 23 July – 17:15
The film will be introduced by Maarten Stoltz, Program-Coordinator at Movies that Matter.

LUCKY SPECIALS
Tuesday 24 July – 18:30
In collaboration with THE UNION: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease and KNCV Tuberculosis fund.
The film will be introduced by Emily T. Blitz, Global Director of Conferences and Summits at THE UNION.

WHO’S GONNA LOVE ME NOW?
Wednesday 25 July – 18:30
The film will be introduced by Dirk van der Straaten, Artistic Director at Movies that matter.

LITTLE HEAVEN
Thursday 26 July – 18:30
The film will be introduced by Mercy Ngulube, Young anti-AIDS activist and victim of AIDS.

Where: RAI Amsterdam, Amtrium first floor, room L103-104

Good to know: the programme is free and will be hosted in English

More information can be found here.