ARASA Presents Health and Rights Report at ICASA
At an 22nd International Conference on STIs and Aids in Africa (ICASA side event at Holiday Inn, Dr Ntombi Muchuchuti the ARASA director released the 2022–2033 Health and Rights report in an effort to identify and solve the declining public space and financial shortfalls for HIV/AIDS, TB, and sexual reproductive health programming in the Southern African region.
She presented a copy of the report to Trans Smart Trust Director, Gumisayi Bonzo saying, “The report aligns with the 2023 ICASA theme, Let Communities Lead, it is a study that examines how the legal systems in the 18 nations are doing in terms of advancing the Sustainable Development Goals. The laws that make HIV transmission, same-sex relationships, and maybe drug use illegal, as well as the policies and legal structure surrounding them, are all subjects of our aim to write about,” she stated.
“In order to ensure that the 2030 agenda is implemented,” she continued, “the report was also designed to address the laws that have the potential to undermine the advancements made in HIV prevention.
“We have provided the report to the communities and partners so they are aware of the progress made in their respective countries, the areas that still require attention, and how they can interact with their governments to coordinate efforts to close gaps in the nation and to engage with their own government.”
She continued by saying that the purpose of the gathering was to have a conversation on topics related to HIV prevention, rights related to sexual and reproductive health, and sexual and gender orientation.
“We work with key populations, sex workers, drug users, and members of the LGBTIQ community, including those who are impacted by and infected with HIV. We also work with diverse communities.”
“Our goal was to bring together various communities to engage in dialogue, track advancements, identify areas for improvement, and share best practices while also learning from one another. The fact that we had donor communities, different government agencies, and civil society from other nations—including the communities themselves—was crucial to the conversation,” stated Dr Muchuchuti
“They work throughout the region in 18 countries, and their main targets are parliamentarians, human rights commissioners, media, civil society, human rights defenders, including those who are infected or affected by HIV, she continued. They also have a responsibility to convene spaces so that people can come and discuss.”