16 January 2015 -- Nairobi, Kenya -- The way we seek to help and treat people living with HIV, the TB/HIV co-infection or those suffering from TB requires a systematic assessment from a gender perspective. It is essential that in order to succeed in the fight against TB, men, boys, women, girls and transgender people have an equal access to health services. Unless we take gender into consideration, such access may not be possible.
The Stop TB Partnership, UNAIDS and the Global Coalition of TB Activists (GCTA) together with the group AIDS Strategy, Advocacy and Policy (ASAP) brought together more than 30 participants from 21 countries with expertise on TB, HIV and gender for a workshop that was held in Nairobi this week.
The meeting was designed to review and agree on the tool to be used as well as to build the capacity of TB participants to advance gender equality. A significant component of the workshop looked at ensuring that all participants can use the new HIV/TB Gender Assessment Tool, developed by UNAIDS with input from GCTA, the Global Fund and other partners.
"I am so happy that we are looking into gender and TB. It was long overdue. And I am also happy that we are building on the knowledge and expertise that colleagues from UNAIDS and the HIV community are having on this area, so we do not reinvent the wheel. TB and HIV programmes will never achieve their targets unless the gender aspects are addressed ," said Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership.
The tool is currently being finalized. The list of people trained that participated at the workshop in Nairobi will be available to draw from as resources -- their details will be made available on the Stop TB Partnership website.