In partnership with the University of Sheffield, UK and the National Centre for AIDS and STD Control of Nepal (NCASC), AHF organized an advocacy workshop with the local parliamentarians on August 22, 2015 at the Hotel Himalaya in Kupondole, Nepal. The workshop aimed to sensitize the officials to issues of HIV/ AIDS with a focus on testing, treatment access, funding and the 20×20 Campaign.
The workshop featured a session on the 20×20 Campaign, presented by Divya Raj Joshi, Monitoring and Evaluations Coordinator of AHF Nepal. Joshi highlighted the need for community testing, early identification, and linkage to treatment and care services.
Representatives from six NGOs spoke on behalf of People Living with HIV (PLWH) in Nepal. Concerns ranged from pending bills in the government involving PLWH to the continuation of the ongoing HIV/AIDS program in Nepal and its possible funding gap starting in mid-2016 after the Global Fund grant runs out. Emphasis was also placed on the need for coordinated interventions by local government bodies.
The workshop concluded with members of the PLWH community who provided personal testimonies, facts and figures. Parliamentarians committed to close the gaps on testing coverage, increase local government funding and improve treatment options for PLWH through future policy interventions. The parliamentarians thanked and congratulated AHF for its assistance with the evidence-based advocacy workshop, the second of its kind, and advocated for the continuation of AHF involvement in future policy development.
AHF has been working with the government of Nepal, civil society and affected communities to devise public health interventions for PLWH, since 2009.