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Rutgers is Breaking Barriers and Building Bridges at Aids2018

Next week, Rutgers will be at the 22nd International AIDS Conference 2018, which takes place in Amsterdam from 23-27 July. This year’s theme Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges draws attention to the need of rights-based approaches to reach key populations more effectively. Rutgers’ role will be to underline the life-saving approach to integrate work on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and HIV/AIDS.

AIDS2018 is the largest conference on any global health issue in the world. More than 15.000 global leaders, policy makers, researchers and advocates, will gather during the week-long conference. This makes it a unique forum that intersects science, advocacy and human rights.

It is the first time in 16 years that the conference is held in Amsterdam. This year, it aims to promote human rights-based and evidence-informed HIV responses that are tailored to the needs of particularly vulnerable communities and collaborate in fighting the disease beyond country borders.

Join forces

Rutgers’ Executive Director Ton Coenen, is looking forward to the conference. “It is a good timing, since we need change and real integration of AIDS and Sexual Health. We face so many external challenges and growing conservatism that we have to join forces. That is why Rutgers is leading multiple events at the conference focusing on these important topics.”

Rutgers and partners will highlight the importance of integrating SRHR and HIV/AIDS work. Poor sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS have common root causes. Integrating should not be underestimated, as it is a crucial element in saving lives worldwide. Besides the focus on SRHR in the HIV/AIDS response, Rutgers will also lead a workshop on the implications of Trump’s Global Gag Rule, which has crucial impact on SRHR work in the global south.

The conference starts Monday, however, this weekend a variety of unofficial pre-events take place all over Amsterdam. As a partner, Rutgers is leading Our Bodies, Our Fight, which aims to underline the necessity of uniting the movements for HIV/AIDS and safe abortion care, and Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges for the Right to Decide which is the first ever pre-event focused on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights


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