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Synergising HIV/AIDS and Sexual & Reproductive Health rights--a manual for NGOs.

Aidsnet, a Danish non-governmental network on AIDS and development, working with the World Health Organization (WHO), has developed a package to assist in improving HIV/AIDS interventions.

The worldwide epidemic of AIDS has created extraordinary challenges for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) around the world. This manual is for all who acknowledge that, although HIV/AIDS is a unique challenge, NGOs can act effectively by drawing heavily on the wealth of already existing experiences accumulated by groups promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), public health and other related issues

The manual is for NGO practitioners who wish to go one step further in the fight against HIV/AIDS by drawing on the wealth of experiences accumulated in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and other public health related issues.

It provides practical guidance to NGOs working in low-income countries by addressing issues such as 'Mainstreaming HIV/AIDS, SRHR and gender', 'The rights-based approach', 'Sexual Minorities and same-sex sexual activities', and 'District Health Planning'. All of the 28 short chapters emphasise important 'entry points' for NGOs and include annotated resources.

As a whole, the manual is structured to be user-friendly by relying on explanatory boxes, concrete examples and cases of good practice or common approaches as well as links to more information and tools. This is therefore a practical, easy-to-use reference piece to be consulted when you need answers to specific questions or inspiration on how to deal with them in practice.

The Team

The manual and CD-Rom were originally developed by the following team members:

* Jerker Liljestrand, Lund University (team leader);

* Jacqueline Bryld, UNAIDS;

* Jeffrey Victor Lazarus, WHO;

* Lise Rosendal Ostergaard, Aidsnet;

* Catrine Christiansen, Nordic Africa Institute

* Ole Norgaard, Aidsnet.

The final production is the result of a joint effort by a writing team supported by a 'South Panel' of NGO partners from Uganda, Egypt, Malawi, Botswana and Tanzania and 24 peer reviewers based in various UN organisations, Danida and Nordic universities. It therefore represents Nordic as well as South viewpoints, anchored in a solid base of evidence.

The South Panel

Aidsnet wished to involve their South partners in a meaningful way in the development of the manual. The panel has been established by Danish Aidsnet members who recommended colleagues who could contribute to the process. The aim was to include a wide range of competencies, to be gender balanced and to include both Africa and Asia. The task of the panel was to comment on: the model chapter; the list of content and the final draft of the manual.

The Technical Reviewers

In order to ensure that each chapter of the manual is in harmony with the latest internationally accepted knowledge, Aidsnet called upon a number of international experts in the fields that the manual covers and asked them to review the text. For each chapter one or two reviewers were asked to respond to the following questions: Are we missing anything substantial that could be included without a gross expansion? Do we highlight the main issues, as far as evidence in this field goes?

The Package

The Aidsnet manual 'package' consists of four key components:

* A manual (PDF 6.0 MB);

* A CD-Rom with all the book production files and additional resources from WHO and UNAIDS;

* A workshop--this event was held on September 14, and the presentations are available to be downloaded from the Aidsnet website. They were given by: Elly Mugumya, Director, Family Planning Association, Uganda; Samira Luka, Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services, Egypt: and Shanta L. Shrestha, Local Community Competence Building and HIV/AIDS Prevention Program in Tanzania and Zambia.


Aidsnet is monitoring the use of the manual through its website. Anyone who chooses to adapt parts of the manual to the specific needs of an organisation, is asked to let Aidsnet know. Users are also encourage to fill out and return an evaluation form (available from the website or from the Aidsnet secretariat) and send it to us.

Contact AIDSNET, Rosenorns Alle 12. 1. DK 1634 Copenhagen V, Denmark. T: +45 33 695611; F: +45 33 931009 E: W:
COPYRIGHT 2005 International Confederation of Midwives
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Title Annotation:Worldwide news
Publication:International Midwifery
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2005
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