AIDS Conference Awards

01 Sep 2006

Five community groups from Ukraine, Bangladesh, Thailand, Zambia and Zimbabwe won the newly created ‘Red Ribbon' awards for their outstanding contributions as model local AIDS initiatives at the Toronto HIV/AIDS Conference, held between 12-18 August, 2006.

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UNAIDS Special Representative HRH the Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway presented the award for best practice in overcoming women's inequality to Zimbabwe 's Girl Child Network, which counsels and supports girls in rural areas, including victims of sexual abuse.

The Girl Child Network was joined on the honours list by a Ukrainian lobbying group that works with public institutions to combat discrimination, secure treatment and organize support for people living with HIV/AIDS; a Thai organization that successfully campaigned to bring anti-retroviral treatment into the country's public-health system; a youth-led network of communities in Zambia that sews school uniforms for AIDS orphans; and a Bangladeshi project to educate, protect and advocate for sex workers and their families.

The 2006 Red Ribbon Award winners, by category, were:

1.       Providing access to care, treatment and support for people living with HIV/AIDS: Thai Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, Thailand

2.       Addressing stigma and discrimination related to HIV/AIDS: The All Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, Ukraine

3.       Addressing gender inequalities that fuel the HIV/AIDS epidemic: The Girl Child Network, Zimbabwe

4.       Promoting HIV/AIDS prevention programmes: Durjoy Nari Shongo, Bangladesh

5.       Providing support to children orphaned by AIDS and other vulnerable children: Mboole Rural Development, Zambia

Nearly 600 communities around the world were nominated for the Award. Through a rigorous review process, a committee of 50 international HIV and AIDS experts identified the top 25 candidates, who were invited to attend the AIDS 2006 conference.

An international jury that included the Norwegian Crown Princess, Oscar nominee Naomi Watts, former President of Ireland Mary Robinson and pioneering doctor Paul Farmer whittled the 25 finalists down to five, one in each award category.

“The Red Ribbon Award is a great opportunity to bring communities together that have fought this disease,” said Kemal Dervis, United Nations Development Programme Administrator. “Sometimes they work in extremely difficult situations, in contexts of war or extreme poverty, and yet they have found ways despite these obstacles to make things happen, to generate some real success on the ground.”

Each of the five winners receives US$20,000 in prize money, while the other 20 finalist communities are each awarded US$5,000. The checks will be presented to the finalists on World AIDS Day, 1 December 2006.

The Red Ribbon Award, making its debut in Toronto during the week of 12-18 August, will henceforth be presented every two years at the International AIDS Conference. It provides a unique opportunity to support and publicize the most outstanding and least recognized experts in the global effort to stop the epidemic.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is leading the Red Ribbon Award, working in partnership with UNAIDS, the Community and Leadership Program Committees of the XVI International AIDS Conference and the governments of Canada, Norway, Austria, Finland and Ireland. Other partners include Care International and UNESCO.

More details of the real-life stories of these communities and the challenges they face in responding to the HIV epidemic are available at:


Among the 25 worldwide finalists of the Red Ribbon Awards at the Toronto Aids Conference, more than half of them were grassroots activists from Africa

The grassroots project which won one of the five “Red Ribbon” awards at the Toronto International AIDS Conference, 2006 belong to a young group from Zambia. Here is what they do about ‘Providing Support to Children Orphaned by AIDS and Other Vulnerable Children'.

Originating as a single village endeavor, the central focus of this Zambian project is to provide orphans with school uniforms and supplies, allowing them to complete their educations.  Currently led by twelve young people, the Mboole Rural Development has since expanded to include 16 villages in which they now operate a variety of micro-credit enterprises.  These projects, including a tailoring shop that produces school uniforms and a carpentry skills training centre, provide necessary resources while teaching valuable skills to local youth. The organization seeks to fight cultural ideas that lead to the spread of the epidemic, empower women to say no to unsafe sex and also to promote inter-generational dialogue and family planning.

About the XVI International AIDS Conference: AIDS 2006 is the world's largest HIV/AIDS conference, providing an international, open and independent forum for the exchange of ideas, knowledge and research which will inform HIV/AIDS programmes and strengthen prevention, treatment and care efforts around the world. The theme of AIDS 2006 is ‘Time to Deliver', reflecting the demands of the epidemic for increased accountability from all stakeholders to fulfill the commitments made. (

About UNAIDS: UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, brings together the efforts and resources of ten UN system organizations to the global AIDS response. Co-sponsors include UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank. Based in Geneva, the UNAIDS secretariat works on the ground in more than 75 countries world wide. (


    To date around 65 million people have been infected with HIV and AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since it was first recognised in 1981. The vast majority of the 38.6 million people living with HIV in 2005 are unaware of their status. AIDS is among the greatest development and security issues facing the world today.
    In 2005 AIDS claimed the lives of 2.8 million people and over 4 million people were newly infected with the virus.
    At around 17.3 million, women make up almost half of the total number of people living with the virus, 13.2 million of which live in sub-Saharan Africa (76% of all women living with HIV).
    Sub-Saharan remains the most affected region in the world. Two thirds of all people living with HIV are in sub-Saharan Africa where 24.5 million people were living with HIV in 2005.
    Growing epidemics are underway in Eastern Europe and Central Asia where 220,000 people were newly infected with HIV in 2005.
    Declines in HIV prevalence have been noted in Kenya, Zimbabwe, urban parts of Haiti and Burkina Faso and four Indian states including Tamil Nadu.

Regional Statistics



People living with HIV

New infections 2005

AIDS deaths 2005

Adult prevalence %

Sub-Saharan Africa


24.5 million


2.7 million

2 million



8.3 million

930 000

600 000

0.4 %

Latin America

1.6 million





North America & Western & Central Europe

2 million





Eastern Europe & Central Asia

1.5 million





Middle East & North Africa




















38.6 million


4.1 million

2.8 million



  • There are more new HIV infections every year than AIDS-related deaths and as more people become infected with HIV, more people will die of AIDS-related illnesses.
  • Worldwide, less than one in five people at risk of becoming infected with HIV has access to basic prevention services. Across the world, only one in eight people who want to be tested are currently able to do so.
  • Each day, 1500 children worldwide become infected with HIV, the vast majority of them newborns. In 2005, 9% of pregnant women in low- and middle-income countries were offered services to prevent transmission to their newborns.
  • To get ahead of the epidemic, HIV prevention efforts must be scaled up and intensified, as part of a comprehensive response that simultaneously expands access to treatment and care.
  • Scaling up available prevention strategies in 125 low- and middle-income countries would avert an estimated 28 million new infections between 2005 and 2015, more than half of those that are projected to occur during this period and would save US$ 24 billion in associated treatment costs.
  • Simultaneous scaling up of both prevention and treatment would avert 29 million new infections by the end of 2020.


  • According to the latest UNAIDS/WHO ‘3 by 5' progress report, around 1.3 million people living with HIV are receiving ARV therapy in low and middle income countries – this means that 20% of those in need of treatment are now receiving it.
  • The number of people receiving antiretroviral treatment in low and middle income countries has tripled since the end of 2001.

Geographical region

Estimated no. of

people receiving

ARV therapy,

December 2005


Estimated no. of

people needing

ARV therapy,

December 2005


ARV therapy


December 2005


Sub-Saharan Africa




Latin America & Caribbean





East, South & South East Asia





Europe and Central Asia





Middle East & North Africa







6.5 million


Note: Some numbers do not add up due to rounding

 Resource Needs

  • In 2005, a total of US$ 8.3 billion was estimated to be available for AIDS funding; this figure is estimated to rise to US$ 8.9 billion in 2006 and US$ 10 billion in 2007. But it falls short of what is needed -- US$ 14.9 billion in 2006, US$ 18.1 billion in 2007 and US$ 22.1 billion in 2008.
  • For treatment and care, about 55% of these resources will be needed in Africa, 20% in Asia and the Pacific, 17% in Latin America and the Caribbean, 7% in Eastern Europe and 1% in North Africa and the Near East.

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