HIV Vaccine Advocacy Unit (HVAU) at GSA

The Global Science Academy (GSA) has a full-fledged HIV Vaccine Advocacy Unit (HVAU) which time to time raise awareness on AIDS vaccine related updates.

HVAU helped in National Conference on AIDS Vaccine Research 2010. Around 100 websites including UNAIDS, Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise around the globe supported this initiative as well as organizations like IAVI, etc. have directly providing their technical assistance. Science writer Regina Mc Enery also made the mention of my this endeavor in November- December 2009 issue of IAVI Report and my this endeavor were well documented by science writer of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) Regina Mc Enery in November- December 2009 issue of the journal, “IAVI Report” under the title, “Progress and Promise” as well as in the December 2009 issue of “Vax” (The Bulletin of AIDS Vaccine Research) under the title, ‘A Year of Progress: On World AIDS Day, scientists marked a promising year on both research and policy fronts’. Also, health minister of India while GSA attending a roundtable discussion of (40) key stakeholders from India with representation from Asia and the Pacific on NPTs on 3rd November 2009 expressed his support to the cause of the same.

Extensive HIV vaccine literacy programmes are underway with the technical assistance of IAVI India and other NPTs for which a pilot survey

In India people started recognizing my talent as the potential leader of future in AIDS vaccine field.

Presently GSA is working on a pilot work titled, “Engaging AIDS-Vaccine researchers and public organizations to strengthen AIDS Vaccine research in India by stimulating two-way dialogue with technical and policy background of Indian government & significant input of stakeholders and research partners”

Extensive vaccine (HIV) literacy programmes in India are underway in my supervision at GSA as well as a pilot work in hand on ‘engaging AIDS-Vaccine researchers and public organizations’ and fostering mentorship to similar organizations/ researchers.

Moreover, World Vaccine Congress, Beijing invited GSA head (who is one of the key personnel at HVAU at GSA) as key-note speaker on AIDS Vaccine issue.

GSA and Global Health Councils’ “International AIDS Candlelight Memorial (IACM) and got published suggestions as well (given below is one of the examples):

Consolidated Response (CR) of GSA as published by IACM-India is underneath:

We, at the Global Science Academy (GSA) commemorate International AIDS Candlelight Memorial (IACM) since 2003. GSA’s first IACM was marked by the enthusiastic participation of Female Sex Workers (FSWs), largely marginalized in Indian society. In my opinion, a sex worker, if HIV positive, face “tri-fold stigma” of being-i) sex worker; ii) woman (in a rather male dominating society) and iii) her sero-positive status. Through programmes like IACM we need to address the problems faced by such marginalized sections of the society. With this background expression, let me suggest some points in relation to current discussion on observing IACM in India.

  1. As we all know, the National AIDS Control organization (NACO) is largely responsible for the national response to HIV. I request NACO to assume responsibility in enhancing and coordinating IACM activities in India. NACO can issue a directive to all its State AIDS Control societies (SACS) towards mobilizing support of civil societies and stakeholders in this regard. This would definitely add synergy in our efforts. I am sure this will also help NACO in their stigma reduction efforts if the Most at Risk Population groups like FSW, MSM, and TG, as well as PLHIV are mainstreamed in the IACM observance.
  2. In view of sub-optimal IEC measures existing at certain places, especially at grassroots level, involving people like “Anganwadi workers, and Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) can be helpful. They can act as communicators of core messages by lighting candles on the occasion and creating scope for enthusiastic queries by people. A letter in this regard might be issued by the district administration and the existing IACM coordinators could facilitate this process.
  3. Social and cultural barriers to sexual and reproductive health still remain challenges to our agenda. Further, we are witnessing poor access to education in different parts of the country. Also, we come across highly concerned issue of orphan children. Moreover, freedom of expression, especially by women and adolescents, on sex and sexuality issues facing great taboo and other likely issues need to be considered whilst planning observance of IACM in India.

Dr. Anil Pratap Singh, Global Science Academy (GSA)