COHESODEC’s HIV/AIDS Response Efforts and the S.D.G’s; Impact and Opportunities: joint action, shared progress, Shared Goals by 2030;
- End Poverty
From COHESODEC’s response research findings, poverty can increase vulnerability to HIV infection. Also, unequal socioeconomic status of women compromises their ability to prevent HIV or mitigate the impact of AIDS. Households affected by HIV are more vulnerable to falling into and remaining in poverty. SOLUTION; Economic empowerment and social protection can reduce poverty and HIV vulnerability as well as help keep people with HIV healthy.
- End Hunger
From our research findings, hunger can lead to risk-taking behaviour, undermine HIV treatment adherence and hasten progression to AIDS. Moreover, advanced HIV-related illnesses impair nutritional status and undermine household food security by reducing productivity. SOLUTION; nutritional support to households and integrated systems to deliver nutritional support and HIV services can enhance health outcomes.
- Ensure Healthy Lives
Our research also showed that lack of universal health coverage, including sexual and reproductive health services, restricts access to HIV prevention and treatment as most people acquiring HIV infection acquire it through sexual transmission or transmission from mother to infant during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. SOLUTION; HIV-sensitive universal health coverage can play a vital role in promoting health equity, while integration with rights based services for sexual and reproductive health, non communicable diseases, tuberculosis and other conditions can improve broad health outcomes.
- Ensure Quality Education
Our research results showed that, globally, about 7 in 10 adolescent girls and women 15–24 years old in Cameroon do not have knowledge of HIV and since HIV-related illnesses impede school attendance and learning as does stigma and discrimination in school settings. SOLUTION; High-quality education, including on sexual and reproductive health, empowers young people and provides life skills for responsible and informed sexual and reproductive health decisions.
- Achieve Gender Equality
We equally found out from our research that gender inequalities, discrimination, violence and harmful practices negatively impact women and girls as well as men and boys and increases the risk of HIV infection and its impact on the population. Also, given that HIV is the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age (15–44 years old); women living with HIV often face increased violence. SOLUTION; Gender-transformative HIV programs that engage men can reduce violence and empower women, while integration of rights-based services for HIV and sexual and reproductive health increases dual uptake and impact.
- Promote Economic Growth
From COHESODEC’s research findings, safe and secure working environments facilitate access to HIV services, especially for workers in informal employment, such as undocumented migrants and sex workers. It was also found out that people living with HIV experience unemployment rates three times higher than national unemployment rates. SOLUTION; Addressing HIV in the work place and protecting labour rights can help ensure people living with and affected by HIV enjoy full and productive employment.
- Reduce Inequality
Our research results also revealed that, Income inequality is linked to higher HIV prevalence rates; we also found out that, HIV affects vulnerable and disempowered communities most severely. Stigma and discrimination against key populations is a major contributor to high HIV prevalence among them and linked to lower access to health care and housing. SOLUTION; Protection against discrimination alongside legal services, rights literacy, access to justice and international protection can empower people to claim their rights and enhance access to HIV services.
- Make Cities Safe and Resilient
Our research results reveal that, HIV especially affects cities and urban areas, with 50 cities accounting for more than one quarter of the nation’s people living with HIV. With rapid urbanization, many cities contend with growing HIV epidemics; people living in slums often acquire HIV infection at higher rates than the rest of the city. SOLUTION; City-led local AIDS responses support positive social transformation by strengthening health and social systems to reach the most marginalized populations.
- Promote Peaceful and Inclusive Societies
Our research revealed that exclusion, stigma, discrimination and violence fuel the HIV epidemic among adults and children. The AIDS response, led by people living with and affected by HIV, has demanded access to justice and pioneered people-centred accountability mechanisms—providing lessons on which to build. SOLUTION; Participatory governance—which includes community-led responses—can drive more relevant, rights-based programs and stronger accountability for health and development.
- Strengthen Means of Implementation
Finally, COHESODEC from it’s research, found out that national collective action to improve access to affordable HIV commodities is critical to ending the epidemic. Also HIV movement has led advocacy for reforms of patent laws and regulatory systems; SOLUTION; full use of TRIPS flexibilities; monitoring free-trade agreement negotiations; and taking legal action. Efforts to secure affordable HIV commodities, including second and third-line drugs, can benefit wider health and equity agendas, including tuberculosis, hepatitis C and non communicable diseases.