Kufekisa Laugery is a widowed farmer, the head of a household of twelve, five of whom are HIV positive and two already on ART. She is the chair of the Senior Citizens’ Association in Zambia. Speaking at the Care and Support Conference she said:
“It does not occur to my peers even to think that anyone else is supposed to help them. However, you and I know that care and support are not a privilege but a human right. Governments should take responsibility for all their people, not just the healthy who pay their taxes. I go home knowing their is hope for caregivers.”
At the UN High Level Meeting on AIDS held in 2006, the international community set Universal Access as the framework for the response to HIV. As part of their commitment, countries promises to set national level targets to work towards the goal of “universal access to comprehensive prevention programmes, treatment care and support”. This positioned care and support as one of the three critical pillars of a comprehensive HIV response.
Years on, care and support remains just as critical but has unfortunately not received the attention its inclusion in the universal access target promised. Despite being the third pillar, it is scarcely accounted for in formal, funded national AIDS responses or policy-making and is not listed as a priority for many international institutions, donors or regional bodies. Therefore the work of clinicians and particularly community and family carers and home-based care organisations, has remained largely invisible and inadequately supported.
IAS Networking Zone
The Caregivers Action Network and the Care and Support Initiative of the UK Consortium on AIDS and International Development jointly hosted the Caregivers Networking Zone in the Global Village at the International AIDS Conference in Washington DC. The Caregivers Networking Zone provided a platform for the our collective memberships of close to 1000 organisations and individuals to advocate for increased focus on care and support and the contribution of caregivers.
- Share experiences and build skills on caregiving, care and support and social protection
- Explore linkages between care and support, prevention and treatment and the role of care and support in a comprehensive HIV response
- Demonstrate caregivers contribution to achieving HIV and broader development goal
- Highlight how caregivers must be supported and included in the HIV response
Our international conference on care and support in November 2010 had a direct impact on the UNAIDS strategy, published the following month.
In 2011 the Consortium published two documents. The first, HIV Care and Support: The Forgotten Pillar, highlights where care and support is provided and looks at the link between care and support and the other elements of the HIV response.
The second, HIV Care and Support: A Roadmap to Universal Access to 2015, begins with the UNAIDS definition of comprehensive care and support and is followed by a set of principles. It outlines targets for technical agencies, donors, national governments and civil society.
Most recently, we have published a policy paper on the remuneration of caregivers.
In 2013 we published a fact sheet on Palliative Care and HIV.
For a full overview of our work, go to our Care and Support Working Group page.
For further resources on caregivers, please visit the Caregivers Action Network.