For the first time in the history of Colombia, sex workers women are part of the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) for projects under the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Fidelia Suarez, representing ASMUBULI, was invited to join the Advisory Committee of the Country Coordinating Mechanism for Global Fund Project to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The fellow has been named as titular to represent sex workers women in the CCM and in their name monitoring the implementation of ongoing projects on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria that the Global Fund is supporting in that country.
CCMs are key cross-cutting areas for discussion of policies and strategies against HIV/AIDS. For the Global Fund they are essential for “the organization’s commitment to the project ownership at a local level and participatory decision making, it is the decision-making body in the development of national proposals to the Global Fund and the subsequent monitoring”.
Tired of others write in their name, ASMUBULI sex workers women are determined to be the spokeswoman for the problems they face. “Our participation is key to ensuring that the needs and realities of sex workers women are heard in this area of decision making, to develop a national response to HIV/AIDS that is suitable, high quality and sustainable”, said Fidelia Suarez. “We will work for sex workers women became protagonists in the counseling and pilot testing on HIV/AIDS, to include us early on researches or studies that concern us, because we are who best understand our needs and problems”, Suarez added.
Colombia has required that the conformation of the CCM include representation from all key actors that are important in the fight against these three diseases (AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis) in the national context. Among the members are: Dr Ricardo Luque (National Coordinator of the Office of STI and HIV/ AIDS), Dr. Jorge Pacheco (AIDS League Coordinator), Dr. Martha Lucia Rubio (Advisor on HIV/AIDS of UNFPA at national level), Dr. Rafael Pardo (Project Coordinator of the Global Fund at national level), Dr. Luis Ángel Moreno (UNAIDS Coordinator for Colombia).
We have already taken the first step. Today for the first time in Colombian history, sex workers women have representation and voice in a decision space that benefits the entire country, and now more than ever to each and all its members.