Africa free of New HIV infections (AfNHi) is an Africa regional advocacy network, which exists to unite African Civil Society voices and action on regional advocacy for HIV prevention research. AfNHi is committed to influencing Africa regional policies in order to accelerate ethical development and delivery of HIV prevention tools towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
AfNHi participated in the 2018 AVAC partner’s forum held on 13th – 16th February 2018 in Johannesburg South Africa. Attending this were AVAC partners, Fellows and HIV prevention research Advocates based in Africa bringing together 120 participants in the meeting.
AfNHi brought to the meeting rich discussions on Mapping of legal and political framework and opportunities for engagement on HIV Prevention Research in Africa delivered through a formal presentation by the Secretariat followed by a panel presentation. Several opportunities were identified at the Africa regional level. Moving forward, AfNHi is developing a strategy on how to effectively engage. Some of the opportunities identified were;
- Abuja + 12 which came as a result of African heads of states and government committing to eliminating AIDS, TB and Malaria by 2030 and Mapping of legal and political framework and opportunities for engagement on HIV Prevention Research in Africa Mapping of legal and political framework and opportunities for engagement on HIV Prevention Research in Africa Mapping of legal and political framework and opportunities for engagement on HIV Prevention Research in Africa Mapping of legal and political framework and opportunities for engagement on HIV Prevention Research in Africa.
- The Catalytic Framework to end AIDS, TB and eliminate Malaria in Africa by 2030 which provide an overarching policy framework in effective response to HIV and AIDs, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
- Africa Partnership and Coordination Forum whose multisectoral nature can provide civil society or other health champions a platform to feedback on priority actions and progress they have made regarding implementation of the Catalytic Framework.
- AIDS Watch Africa comprises of Heads of State and Government who meet annually to review progress on the continental response to HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria and their pronouncements and decisions – it presents an opportunity for peer review, sharing best practices and setting agenda on HIV prevention.
- Africa Union (AU) organs for example New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and African Centre for Diseases Control. NEPAD plays both regulatory and capacity strengthening roles. Their current focus is on the Catalytic Framework – promoting access to affordable, quality assured medicines, commodities, technologies and developing AU policy on Research and Innovation for Health.
- African Centre for Diseases Control which requires domestic financing to truly focus on African Health research issues. The opportunities would be to focus research and innovation on the region’s priority areas by strengthening collaborations within Africa’s research institutions to enhance evidence-informed policies as well as increased investments in research and innovation.
- Regional economic bodies (such as SADC, ECOWAS, COMESA, EAC and their research institutions) which provide opportunities to collaborate on innovative African projects and research in areas of economy and health. There is a possibility of approaching African Development Bank (AfDB) for financing such projects.
- Office of the 1st Ladies (OAFLA) – relevant specially to mobilize support from the heads of states for HIV prevention research at Africa region level.
- Regional parliamentary bodies
- Have demonstrated leadership in voting for regional policies on HIV e.g. the Eastern African Legislative Assembly (EALA)
- Parliamentary Caucus on TB – Presents opportunities to leverage on their work as TB champions to also champion HIV prevention research.
- African Civil Society Networks (e.g. African Civil Society Health Platform)
- Regional Coalitions involving CSOs, Researchers (e.g. AAVNET, CHReaD, SAHTAC)
- Push for increased domestic and international funding to health through innovative financing mechanisms, social health insurance schemes and increased allocations at various levels
- Presents opportunities to strengthen Africa-focused and led HIV biomedical prevention research, implementation and advocacy
AfNHi held a successful HIV prevention campaign on the sidelines of this meeting. The campaign sought to bring out key messages for HIV prevention. The campaign was done through asking the question – what does HIV prevention meant to you? And respondents were given an opportunity to express their views by writing answers to the question.
56 New sign – ups were registered making a big addition to the AfNHi membership!