World AIDS Day: UNODC participates in Health Ministry's event  

Opening Cerimony 

Brasilia, 04 december 2014 - December 1st represents a milestone for worldwide actions against AIDS. During the World AIDS Day various activities are held to remind the society that AIDS is still an epidemic and it presents challenges.

Marking the 30th anniversary of the beggining of the Brazilian Response to AIDS, the Ministry of Health held in Brasilia the Technological Innovation Workshop on the fight against AIDS in those 30 years.

The workshop included presentations of Valdilea Veloso and Beatriz Grinsztejn, both from Fiocruz, and Orlando da Costa Ferreira Junior, from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

Valdilea made a presentation on all all the milestones in the framework of research and treatment of AIDS over the past 33 years when, in 1981, the first studies on AIDS cases in the world were published. She pointed out that HIV is the most studied pathogen in the history of medicine and that great advances have been made on the fight of transmission and on the improvement of the quality of lives of people living with AIDS.

Beatriz presented several studies on sexual Postexposure Prophylaxis (PEP). This is a measure that consists on the use of medicines within 72 hours after having unprotected sexual intercourse or when condom use fails. She also presented results of studies on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP).

Orlando da Costa raised the issue on the use of certain technologies for the diagnosis of AIDS, ranging from laboratory tests, with the collection of blood samples, to quick tests using saliva as collecting material. According to Orlando, both technologies are safe, and, combined, they are key tools to help combat the epidemic. Nowadays, in Brazil about 140,000 people are unaware of their HIV positive status.

Press Conference

Following the workshop, a press conference was held with the Health Worker's Director of INSS, Sérgio Carneiro, the General Coordinator of PositHiVo Fund, Harley Henriques Nascimento, with Fabio Mesquita, Director of the Department of STD, AIDS and Viral Hepatitis of the Ministry of Health, and Jarbas Barbosa Secretary of Health Surveillance of the Ministry of Health.

Sérgio Carneiro presented the progresses accomplished on the INSS' protocols to support medical experts' decisions for granting benefits to people with HIV/Aids. About the PositHiVo Fund for Sustainability of Civil Society, Harley Nascimento explained the steps to create the Fund and how important this resources are to NGOs, which are essential partners in this fight.

Second speech

Fabio Mesquita and Jarbas Barbosa presented the results of the Epidemiological Bulletin and the Launch of #PartiuTeste Campaign. The results show that there is a stabilization in the number of new AIDS cases in Brazil, representing 20.4 cases per 100,000 people. 39,501 new cases were identified in 2013, with an increasing trend in the South and Northeast Brazilian regions. The good news are that there was a decrease of 35% of cases of vertical transmission, which is the mother-to-child transmission. The alert stands for young people, aged from 15 to 24 years old. In 2004, there were 9.6 young people with HIV for every 100,000. In 2013, that number increased to 12.7.

Therefore, this year's Ministry of Health campaign has a strong focus on young people and, in consequence, will be primarily broadcast using the internet, alluding to the hashtag #PartiuTeste.

The press conference ended with the pronouncement of the Minister of Health, Arthur Chioro, who appreciated the participation and cooperation of UN agencies: UNICEF, UNAIDS and UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime).

He mentioned the importance of December 1st as a milestone to celebrate the achievements and to get ready for the challenges that we will have to face to stop the AIDS epidemic by 2030. He pointed out that the model adopted by Brazil is internationally recognized, with a very positive history, made by health professionals and the entire civil society.

Chioro also exposed the goals presented by UNAIDS and agreed by countries to achieve 90% of people who have HIV aware of their status, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection receive antiretroviral therapy; and 90% of all people receiving HIV treatment are virally suppressed, which will greatly reduce the transmission possibilities. Besides explaining the target 90 | 90 | 90, Chioro also mentioned the importance of the combined prevention, which is condom | test | medication.


The role of the media in the 30 years on the fighting against AIDS

After the press conference, a seminar oriented to media professionals under the title "The Role of Media in the 30 years of the fight against AIDS" was carried out. Jairo Bauer, psychiatrist, columnist for O Estado de S. Paulo, Aureliano Biancarelli, former reporter of Folha de S. Paulo and Marina Pecoraro - AIDS Agency reporter participated on the round table.

The guests agreed that AIDS has lost an important space at the traditional media agenda. Thus, it was discussed what strategies should be should be adopted to reach out to the public, especially the younger ones. The internet was appointed as the main tool to be used in the AIDS communication strategy.

Issues such as stigma and discrimination were also discussed and how the media can have a positive or negative influence on the public opinion formation.

Celebrations of the 30 Years Fight Against AIDS

As a closure of the events, it was launched the celebrations of the 30 Years Fight Against AIDS, which will be held until December 01, 2015. This date marks the beginning of the actions of the Federal Government in the AIDS response.

At the event, many professionals who have been working to eradicate the AIDS epidemic in the last 30 years were awarded. The awards were presented by the Minister of Health, Arthur Chioro, the Minister-Head of Secretariat on Policies for Women of the Presidency, Eleonora Menicucci, the Director of the Department of STD, AIDS and Viral Hepatitis of the Ministry of Health, Fábio Mesquita and the Secretary of Health Surveillance of the Ministry of Health, Jarbas Barbosa.

Closing ceremony

During his closing speech, Minister Arthur Chioro resumed the achievements on the fight against AIDS in these past 30 years and highlighted that the Brazilian AIDS policy is not only a Federal Government policy. According to Chioro it is a state policy applied by the entire brazilian society and this is why it has been so successful. He also mentioned that the fighting AIDS policy in Brazil is a reference model for other countries.

It was also presented a video that shows each phase of the AIDS response in Brazil which should be available soon in the Ministry of Health's website.

Marcos Vitória is awarded

People awarded

UNAIDS' campaing material translated into English

All stories