05 July 2023 | Wednesday | News
The 2023 Me and My Healthcare Provider (MMHCP) campaign, supported by Gilead for the second year running, honours frontline workers providing exemplary inclusive, stigma-free HIV services in Brazil, Hong Kong, Mexico and Taiwan —
— The IAS also debuts a novel, stigma-free services “cookbook” for how to provide quality HIV services in healthcare settings around the world —
Singapore, 5 July 2023 – IAS – the International AIDS Society – in partnership with Gilead Sciences, announced 18 Champions of the 2023 Me and My Healthcare Provider (MMHCP) campaign from Brazil, Hong Kong, Mexico and Taiwan. This distinguished award celebrates frontline healthcare workers who have made a difference in the lives of people living with HIV by delivering stigma-free HIV prevention, treatment, and care services.
The IAS also debuts the Stigma-free services cookbook in seven languages, capturing learnings from the real-life stories, challenges, and triumphs of past MMHCP Champions, showcasing ideas for how to build an inclusive and stigma-free healthcare setting for HIV services.
According to the UNAIDS Global AIDS Update 2022: “Judgmental and hostile attitudes of health workers, breaches of confidentiality, poor care and advice, and even outright denial of treatment continue to be reported by people living with and at risk of HIV when accessing health-care services. These experiences undercut people’s trust in medical advice and deter them from seeking or remaining in care when they need it – which compromises their health and undermines efforts to end the AIDS epidemic.”1
Drawing from real-life stories and advice from former Champions and nominators of the MMHCP campaign since 2016, the Stigma-free services cookbook provides “ingredients” for managers and health system planners, healthcare workers and users of health services to do right in nurturing and facilitating an environment that is free of HIV stigma. To widen the accessibility of this resource, the cookbook is available in English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, French, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese. It will also be translated into other languages.
The Me and My Healthcare Provider campaign is driven by key populations affected by HIV, giving them an opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of healthcare providers who have made a tangible difference in their lives. By highlighting their stories, the campaign hopes to encourage replication and empower other healthcare providers to raise their voices against stigma. Since 2021, the IAS has been in a collaborative partnership with Gilead Sciences to launch MMHCP in Brazil, Hong Kong, Mexico and Taiwan.
The 2023 Me and My Healthcare Provider Champions are:
The IAS and Gilead would like to thank the local partners (Gestos - HIV, Communication and Gender, Inspira Cambio A.C., Harmony Home Foundation Taiwan and Hong Kong AIDS Foundation Ltd) for their support in the implementation of the local program.
The 2023 MMHCP Champions and their nominators will be honoured at IAS 2023, the 12th IAS Conference on HIV Science, in Brisbane, Australia, where they will also be invited to engage in a broad range of stigma-related events to share their best practice examples.
“Our Champions reflect the best of us,” IAS President Sharon Lewin said. “Through highlighting their stories and how they are providing inclusive and stigma-free services, we hope to encourage greater adoption of these best practices and empower others to confront stigma. Only by directly addressing the roadblocks to stigma and health equity can we truly achieve a world in which HIV no longer presents a threat to public health and individual well- being.”
“In spite of the advancement of life-saving treatment, ending the HIV epidemic would not be made possible without a stigma-free healthcare setting which encourages individuals to come forward for testing, treatment or other HIV- related care services,” Alex Kalomparis, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs, Gilead Sciences, said. “We are committed to supporting the delivery of stigma-free healthcare service through our partnerships with the IAS and community-based organizations in the region.”