As part of its on-going commitment to the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR) initiative, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé pledged to support PRRR's catalytic work, including through a commitment of US$100,000 over three years to help promote the engagement of women living with HIV in the design and implementation of programmes in PRRR countries.
"In a people-centred approach we can ensure that women have access to essential health services in a holistic way," said Mr Sidibé. "UNAIDS is proud to play this catalytic role in supporting networks of women living with HIV to bring attention and action to this issue."
Working with local partners, UNAIDS will support community-based engagement in PRRR countries both to ensure that HIV and cervical cancer services are a part of a comprehensive approach to women's health and to help decrease the stigma and discrimination that has often proven to be a barrier to women accessing the care and support that they require.
Mr Sidibé's remarks were made at the George W. Bush Institute sponsored African First Ladies Summit, Investing in Women: Strengthening Africa. The Summit highlights the critical role First Ladies play as advocates for women and girls, spotlights success stories and best practices, and discusses public-private partnerships that lead to sustainable results.
Speaking at the Summit, President Bush stressed that, "There is no greater priority than saving human lives." He added, "We cannot protect women from HIV and let them die from cervical cancer."
The Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon initiative is an innovative partnership leveraging public and private investment in global health for cervical and breast cancer - two of the leading causes of cancer death in women - in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. The Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon works to expand the availability of vital cervical cancer screening, treatment and breast care education - especially for women living with HIV. Founding partners include the George W. Bush Institute, the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and UNAIDS.