News round-up

HIV at sea and a report from the recent COST network meeting in Cyprus.

HIV, all at sea
The Global Partnership on HIV and Mobile Workers in the Maritime Sector was launched at the end of April. The partnership brings together eight organisations including the UN, NGOs, trades unions and employers. Although HIV has long been acknowledged as an issue globally in the trucking industry, there has never been a platform to discuss its significance to migrant workers on ships. The partnership hopes to start a pilot health promotion programme this year with Filipino seafarers.
You can read more about the partnership on the IOM website.

Health, migration and HIV/AIDS

Both prevention and treatment present health care systems with major challenges when it comes to migrant populations. Some migrants come from areas of high HIV/AIDS prevalence, while others are vulnerable to infection because of the situations they may encounter. Barriers to prevention may arise from ignorance as well as from cultural factors, social structures or religious beliefs. Barriers to treatment may result from the limited access to care faced by undocumented migrants and other marginalised groups.
The COST network (www.costhome.eu) and a&m invited officials, researchers and project leaders from 15 European countries to meet in Nicosia (Cyprus) on May 15 and 16 2009. The 25 participants (eight of them former National Focal Points of a&m) came together to discuss research on beliefs and behaviours affecting the vulnerability of migrant populations to HIV/AIDS, as well as the improvements needed in prevention and care provision. Participants considered the role of social attitudes towards migrants and people with HIV/AIDS (racism, stigma, social exclusion), as well as the policy measures that are taken by health providers or governments to remedy the problems identified.
The meeting concluded that health and social care for migrants and ethnic minorities in Europe should remain the focus of regular meetings and updates not only with HIV experts, but health and migration representatives too. Migration flows and policy changes that affect funding need to be monitored and should be reported. In addition, a need was identified to re-emphasize the need for specific and migrant-driven efforts in HIV-prevention and care.
Presentations from the workshop can be downloaded here.

Co-funded by the European Union under the Programme of Community Action in the Field of Public Health 2003-2008 / Executive Agency for Health and Consumers.
Greater Hannover City of Hannover Lower Saxony

aids&mobility europe
is supported by: