To achieve our objective of expanding and enhancing the AIDS response in developing countries Aidsfonds (previously STOP AIDS NOW!) embraces a learning by doing approach, shares knowledge and expertise, and uses local level results to influence international policies and governments.
Aidsfonds (previously STOP AIDS NOW!) offers care, treatment and income opportunities to those affected by HIV and AIDS, and supports prevention initiatives. Aidsfonds (previously STOP AIDS NOW!) operates at the crossroads of fighting poverty, eliminating exclusion, and responding to the AIDS epidemic in countries with a generalised epidemic. We particularly focus on women, youth, and children, the severest affected groups. At the same time, we encourage the inclusion of other groups, such as sex workers, injecting drug users, and men who have sex with men. In our work, we integrate the following cross-cutting issues, as these are key factors for a successful AIDS response: greater involvement of people living with HIV (the GIPA Principle), reduction of stigma and discrimination, and gender sensitivity.
Cross-cutting issues: Stigma and discrimination
HIV-related stigma has been defined as: “… a ‘process of devaluation’ of people either living with or associated with HIV and AIDS.” When HIV-related stigma (an attitude) turns into discrimination (an act) it becomes a human rights violation. Discrimination is the unfair and unjust treatment of an individual based on his or her real or perceived HIV status. Stigma and discrimination and the fear of them affect how people at risk of HIV infection consider their own risks and willingness to test.
Cross-cutting issues: The Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV
Cross-cutting issues: Gender
Gender refers to social and cultural understandings of biological, sexual categories. As a social and cultural construct, gender refers to society’s widely shared norms and expectations about men and women’s appropriate behaviour, roles and characteristics. It differentiates men and women and defines the ways in which they interact with each other. Gender relations are concerned with how power is distributed between men and women. Due to social devaluation and weak social position of women (both a cause and a consequence of the devaluation), gender roles and relations, men often hold considerably more power at all levels. Gender concepts and roles are relative to culture, historical period, and place. They are fluid, changing, and importantly, able to be changed.