Third Asia Pacific Ministerial Meeting on HIV/AIDS

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Third Asia Pacific Ministerial Meeting on HIV/AIDS

24 July 2007

20070724_MinisterialMeeting2_240.jpg
The aims of the meeting was to further encourage
business support for and commitment to the
AIDS response in the region.
Photo credit: UNAIDS/O.O'Hanlon

Business & Government against AIDS

In efforts to further strengthen the response to the epidemic in the region, the Australian Agency for International Development, AusAID, and the Asia Pacific Business Coalition Against AIDS, APBCA, brought together business and government representatives and Ministers for the Third Asia Pacific Ministerial Meeting on HIV/AIDS.

The meeting, which took place in Sydney, Australia on 23 July, was convened to further encourage business support for and commitment to the AIDS response in the region. Its aim also was to build on the goals expressed by Ministers from the region through the previous two ministerial meetings to 'promote high-level leadership and partnership among key stakeholders in combating AIDS in the region.'

“The purpose of this meeting is to highlight and strengthen the partnership between government and business in the fight against AIDS - to strengthen the networks and services that are the front line response to the epidemic in the region, said The Hon Alexander Downer MP, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs in his opening speech. “The next five years will be critical in terms of preparing for the impact of AIDS and scaling up prevention, especially if we want to meet the Millennium Development Goal of halting and beginning to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015,” he added.

The impact of AIDS on the private sector was a central theme of the discussions with lessons being drawn from the effects seen in Africa. Issues highlighted were the rising costs related to AIDS on businesses including absenteeism due to illness or attending funerals, burial costs, health care benefits, and recruitment and training of new labour to replace that lost to AIDS.

During his presentation Michel Sidibe, Deputy Executive Director of Programmes, UNAIDS said, “ Every person living with HIV who needs anti-retroviral treatment must have access to it and the more access we have to effective prevention, the fewer people will be in need of treatment.”

The meeting coincided with the International AIDS Society Conference which is being held in Sydney from 22-25 July 2007. (visit the conference web site)


Background - Asia Pacific Ministerial Meeting on HIV/AIDS

In 2001, building on the momentum from the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS, the Australian Government hosted the first Asia Pacific Ministerial meeting on HIV/AIDS. Ministers from 33 countries in the region came together to discuss the challenges posed by AIDS in the region and to identify ways to strengthen partnerships to respond to the epidemic.

The Thai Government hosted the second ministerial meeting in Bangkok in 2004. The theme of this meeting was Access for All: Political Accountability and focused on multi-sectoral action and the important role of political leadership in the response to AIDS in the region.


20070724_MinisterialMeeting_240.jpg
The coalition assists business respond to AIDS by
providing quality resources and services.
Photo credit: UNAIDS/O.O'Hanlon 

The Asia Pacific Business Coalition on AIDS

The Asia Pacific Business Coalition on AIDS was established as a direct response to the need for greater private sector engagement, coordination and commitment to the regional fight against AIDS. It was launched by Former US President, Bill Clinton in February 2006.

Members include many of Australia's top companies including Qantas and BHP Billiton.

The coalition assists business respond to AIDS by providing quality resources and services to support best practice approaches to AIDS in the region.





Links:

The Asia Pacific Business Coalition on AIDS
The Australian Government’s aid programme AusAID
The Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS