Unite - people living with HIV: the power of collaboration

A look back at some of the key moments in The Union's work over the last year.

MDR-TB

Union research informs WHO guidelines

The World Health Organization (WHO) released new recommended guidelines for the treatment of multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), based on years of research by The Union and partners in francophone Africa. Photo shows three women from Cameroon cured of MDR-TB through this research.

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MDR-TB

STREAM stage II

The first patients enrolled in STREAM stage II in Mongolia, the first clinical trial to include bedaquiline. The trial is testing two regimens: one nine-month regimen with no injections, and an even shorter six-month regimen.

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MDR-TB

MDR-TB programme launched

The Union’s MDR-TB programme was launched at the 47th Union World Conference. It works with governments and National TB Programmes to assist in the implementation and roll out of the nine-month regimen.

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MDR-TB

The Union at 69th World Health Assembly

The Union co-hosted an official side event at the 69th World Health Assembly in Geneva on 24 May. The session was titled ‘Confronting Resistance: Innovations and Access to End TB’.

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Tobacco Control

Uruguay triumphant

Uruguay won a six-year legal battle against Philip Morris, a result with international implications for tobacco control. The Union has supported the Government of Uruguay through this process and will continue to support Uruguay as it moves to implement plain packaging. Photo shows Executive Director of The Union, José Luis Castro with Uruguayan President, Tabaré Vázquez.

Tobacco Control

Index of Tobacco Control Sustainability

The Union published the Index of Tobacco Control Sustainability (ITCS), a new resource to measure the sustainability of tobacco control programmes and ITCS assessments from 24 countries with the world’s highest tobacco burdens.

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The 47th Union World Conference

The 47th Union World Conference held in Liverpool, UK

The 47th Union World Conference on Lung Health was held in Liverpool, UK and focused on ‘Confronting Resistance: Fundamentals to Innovations’. The event attracted over 3,000 delegates from 126 countries

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The 47th Union World Conference

Special Ministerial Session at The Union World Conference

Special sessions at the 47th Union World Conference included a Ministerial Session featuring Ministers of Health from the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe and a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Global TB Caucus.

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Regional Conferences

The 7th Union Europe Region Conference

The 7th Union Europe Region Conference held in Bratislava welcomed 600 delegates and focused on regionally specific topics including the high rate of drug resistance in Eastern Europe and TB in migrant populations. The European TB Summit was held in conjunction with this event and brought together 15 MPs from 12 European and Central Asian countries. MPs signed on to the European Call to Action, urging Slovakia to use its Presidency of the EU Council to prioritise TB.

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TB2016

The Union at TB2016

The Union played a key role in TB2016, an inaugural event preceding the AIDS2016 conference, symbolic of a vital integrated approach to HIV and TB. The Union and the IAS issued a joint commitment calling for more effective, accessible and sustainable solutions to address these related epidemics.

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Regional Conferences

3rd Conference of The Union South East Asia Region

The 3rd Conference of The Union South East Asia Region held in Kathmandu brought together hundreds of delegates. Particularly noteworthy was a commitment to work towards a TB and tobacco-free society in Nepal from the Nepal Government, which sent a delegation of senior officials to the conference, including the Vice President and Minister for Health.

Regional Conferences

18th Conference of The Union Latin America

The 18th Conference of The Union Latin America held in Lima focused on regional approaches to TB and lung disease. Union speakers included Executive Director José Luis Castro, MDR-TB expert Dr José Caminero Luna, and Board Representative for the Latin America Region Dr Jesus Felipe Gonzalez Roldan.

Membership

Presidents

Dr E Jane Carter stepped aside from her role as Union President and handed the baton to Dr Muhwa Jeremiah Chakaya

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Membership

Union members vote

Following an an extensive 18-month review and consultation, Union members voted in changes to the membership structure that will ultimately redress the balance of votes between organisations and individuals so that voting rights are equal and proportional, making Union membership more accessible and representative.

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Courses

Union launches Training and Education website

The Union launched a new website, unioncourses.org to enable easy enrolment in the wide range of courses offered by the Training and Education department.

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Antimicrobial resistance

UN declaration on antimicrobial resistance

The Union's Executive Director attended a High-Level United Nations (UN) General Assembly meeting addressing the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The UN subsequently made a landmark declaration to fight AMR worldwide.

Project Axshya

Union's Project Axshya improving the lives of TB patients

The Union’s Project Axshya has employed many innovative solutions for reaching the tuberculosis (TB) community, including a helpline that reached over 100,000 people with information, counselling and advice on TB.

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TB HIV

World AIDS Day

To mark World AIDS Day on 1 December, The Union joined with the HIV community in events around the world. In Myanmar, The Union joined 700 participants to walk the perimeter of Mandalay Palace, in an outward demonstration of support and solidarity.

In 2005 Myanmar’s HIV epidemic was classed by the World Health Organization as one of the most serious in Asia. There was little funding for HIV treatment or prevention, either from government or overseas aid. The same year, TOTAL E&P (TOTAL) provided US$ 200,000 funding for The Union to treat people co-infected with TB-HIV in Mandalay. This became the Integrated HIV Care (IHC) Programme.

From small beginnings – treating 190 people in 2005 – the IHC model has become a key component of Myanmar’s national HIV strategy. There are now 44,000 people enrolled in the programme, across five regions of the country.

IHC patients receive antiretroviral therapy (ART) and medicines to treat opportunistic infection free of charge, at clinics that screen for TB, monitor CD4 count and HIV viral load, and provide expert counselling.

The IHC model was designed to invest in the infrastructure and expertise of Myanmar’s health system, with the National AIDS Programme and National TB Programme as key partners. At all levels the work involves collaboration between Union staff, the public sector and civil society.

This exhibition tells the story of the lives this dynamic project has touched, and pays tribute to the unique partnerships that have made it possible. It celebrates a decade of unwavering commitment from TOTAL and illustrates the astonishing impact of a responsive funding relationship.

Photographer Jan Schmidt-Whitley spent time documenting patients, families, clinicians and volunteers with the support of The Union Myanmar Office and The Union Communications team. The project was directed by José Luis Castro, Executive Director.

Special thanks go to all the people who had their photographs taken and shared their stories.