PAI recently joined thousands of policymakers, advocates, health workers and activists in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the 16th annual International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA). More than 22 million people are living with HIV in Africa; 60 percent are women. The theme of this year’s conference was “Own. Scale Up. Sustain” and many participants called for greater commitments from national governments to fight the epidemic.
At the conference, PAI drew attention to the need to better integrate reproductive health and HIV services through The Integration Partnership (TIP). PAI brought representatives from 19 civil society partners in sub-Saharan Africa to ICASA to take part in dialogues about how reproductive health and HIV services can be integrated.
During the conference, PAI staff member Erika Larson, along with TIP partner Ben Awinda of the Centre for Advocacy and Empowerment in Tanzania, presented on TIP to an enthusiastic audience. Erika and Ben highlighted the efficiencies that can be achieved through integration, as well as the many benefits to women and families. They also spoke about the importance of civil society in advocating and promoting the voices of women living with HIV to promote sustainable, community-based programs that allow women to access the full spectrum of life-saving health services in one location.