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Improving the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents is the greatest collective endeavour of our time. We live in a world of gross inequality and injustice, but also of unprecedented progress. Since 1990, maternal mortality — indicating deaths of women during pregnancy and childbirth — has fallen by 44%, and the death rate for children under age 5 has fallen by 53%. This progress has been achieved largely through the power of partnerships. PMNCH has worked since its inception in 2005 to forge and strengthen these partnerships.
Every year 12 million girls are married before the age of 18. If progress is not accelerated, 150 million girls could be married in childhood by 2030.1 As a key driver of adolescent pregnancy, child marriage has a hugely detrimental impact on the health and wellbeing of girls and young women, who are more susceptible to experiencing complications during pregnancy and childbirth. The children of child brides are also at higher risk of poor health outcomes than children of girls who marry later. If we act to prevent child marriage now, we could dramatically improve health outcomes for millions of girls and women worldwide, and those of their children.
In recent years, there has been growing evidence and recognition of the importance of engaging men and boys to improve gender equality and empower women and girls. The evidence base on male engagement in ending child marriage, specifically, is relatively thin, with only a handful of studies assessing whether programmes shift the attitudes and behaviours of men and boys around child marriage. Those programmes that have been rigorously studied suggest that it is indeed possible to shift boys’ attitudes toward child marriage including the appropriate age of marriage for girls.
In June 2017, the World Bank and the International Center for Research on Women released groundbreaking results from a major three-year research study on the global costs of child marriage. The study found that child marriage is not only a human rights violation having a major impact on the wellbeing of girls, it also has major negative impacts for households and national economies. This brief highlights key messages from the study that are important for helping policymakers, finance ministers and governments to understand how ending child marriage can save money and alleviate poverty.
Girls Not Brides are calling on G7 countries to prioritise and act on child marriage. These advocacy briefs call on leaders in G7 countries to recognise the need for global level action on child marriage, to develop concrete solutions that are applied at the local level, and to pledge funding to support the implementation of policies and programmes to empower girls.
We are also showcasing the Southern African Development Community Model Model Law on Child Marriage as an example of best-practice gender equality legislation, calling on the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council to include it within their legislative package, and to encourage the uptake of strong laws on child marriage.
The Hong Kong STD/AIDS update is a composite report on HIV/AIDS reporting and STI caseload statistics published 3 monthly. The current issue has the updated information up to December 2018.
The HIV surveillance system in Hong Kong comprises 5 main programmes to provide a detailed description of the local HIV/AIDS situation. They are (a) voluntary HIV/AIDS case-based reporting; (b) HIV prevalence surveys; (c) sexually transmitted infections (STI) caseload statistics; (d) behavioral studies; and (e) HIV-1 genotyping studies. All data are collected, analysed and disseminated regularly by the surveillance team of Special Preventive Programme (SPP), Centre for Health Protection (CHP), Department of Health(DH). At present, the latest HIV/AIDS statistics are released at quarterly intervals at press media briefings and in electronic format (http://www.aids.gov.hk). Data from various sources are compiled annually and released in this report.
This guidance note builds on UNDP’s Strategic Plan 2018–2021 which recognizes UNDP as an integrator to support “greater collaboration across sectors and partners to deliver impacts at scale and to utilize limited resources efficiently.” The guidance note also build on UNDP’s HIV, Health and Development Strategy 2016–2021 which stresses the need for “innovative approaches that harness synergies across the goals […] particularly given the need to make the most efficient and effective use of available development resources."
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria has opened up the opportunity to incorporate tobacco control into TB and HIV grants. In line with the 2030 Agenda, the UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021, and UNDP’s HIV, Health and Development Strategy 2016-21: Connecting the Dots, UNDP and the Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) have produced this Issue Brief to inform Global Fund applicants on integrating tobacco cessation into Global Fund HIV and TB grants. The Issue Brief outlines how tobacco consumption worsens TB and HIV outcomes and how the integration of tobacco control could increase health benefits and efficiencies. Key approaches and practical options for such integration are outlined, based on a review of research and case studies.
Keywords: TB, HIV, SDGs, response, tobacco
In 2017, key populations (KP) and their sexual partners accounted for approximately 40% of new HIV infections globally (UNAIDS, 2018). A range of policy and legal barriers and harmful social dynamics increase the HIV vulnerability of KP and undermine their access to HIV and other services. The criminalization of sex between men, sex work, drug use and HIV transmission, as well as high rates of incarceration, homophobia, trans phobia, violence and social marginalization, all serve to influence risk practices and undermine access to services. People from key populations often migrate to cities in search of safer and more secure communities (UNAIDS, UN Habitat 2015). Women in key populations face specific challenges and barriers, including gender-based violence (GBV) and poorly tailored services. These factors further intensify their vulnerability to HIV.