AMSA's 2015 Annual Convention
Join Us Next Spring
in Washington, DC!

February 26 - March 1, 2015 

AIDS Advocacy Network Platform

The AIDS pandemic is the health crisis of our generation. The AAN exists to address the social injustice and health disparities that fuel the spread of HIV and we will use the following platform to break down the barriers that prevent health as a human right.

Equity in Access

Inequality continues to remain a barrier to improving the health of HIV patients around the world. From the disproportionate supply and demand of health workers around the world to fight AIDS and support public health to the unequal distribution of HIV medications, the lack of equitable access to healthcare for HIV patients is a critical problem.

Health Care Worker Crisis ("Brain Drain")

Health professionals on the ground often face terrible working conditions and are not paid enough to stay in the field. Their exodus to more friendly working environment potentiates and even exacerbates the HIV pandemic. Africa has 25% of the world's disease burden, 13.8% of the world's population, but only 2.7% of the world's health workers. As workers continue to leave their countries, this "brain drain" creates a bottleneck to healthcare delivery. The AAN, in coalition with HealthGAP, Physicians for Human Rights, and other organizations, demands legislation that will provide training, retention, and salary support for healthcare workers, as well as apply pressure on the Administration to announce a program focusing on healthcare worker support and medical infrastructure development in Africa. The AAN will not rest until the minimum work force density recommended by the WHO is reached.

  1. Health Care Workers Fact Sheet
  2. African Health Workers Platform
  3. African Health Capacity Investment Act Fact Sheet
  4. African Health Capacity Investment Act (full text)
  5. Overview of Physicians for Human Rights Report (PDF)
    An Action Plan to Prevent Brain Drain: Building Equitable Health Systems in Africa
  6. Full Text of PHR Action Plan (PDF)
  7. Brain Drain: Africa's Health Workforce Crisis (1.2MB PowerPoint)
  8. Read More About This Issue

Access to Essential Medications

Activism has made significant strides to increase the affordability of life saving medications in developing countries. Yet the reality remains that many governments continue to struggle to provide the medications their patients require. Exorbitant prices, lack of pediatric formulations, and a scarcity of generic production are factors that impede equitable access. Furthermore, many current trade regulations handcuff developing nations attempting to battle this devastating disease. The AAN in conjunction with the Student Global AIDS Campaign, Universities Allied for Essential Medicines and other organizations, mandate increased affordable access to essential medications around the world. The AAN continues to pressure pharmaceutical companies to provide affordable medicines to developing countries and lobbies to ensure that international trade regulations afford the right to do so.

  1. Access to Essential AIDS Medications: A Medical Student Call to Action (PDF)
  2. Treat the People: Access to Essential AIDS Medications (PowerPoint)
  3. Read More About This Issue
  4. Brazil vs. Merck
    1. Brazil Puts Patients over Patents
    2. Brazil Breaks Patent on HIV Drug: Dispelling the Myths
  5. Thailand vs. Abbott
    1. Thailand issues compulsory licenses
    2. Abbott vs. Thailand: Fact or Fiction?

Gender Equity in Global Health

Twenty-five years into the epidemic, women account for nearly half of the 40 million people infected with HIV worldwide. In Sub-Saharan Africa, women ages 15-24 are more than three times as likely to be infected as their male peers. Today's prevention options--abstinence, condoms, and mutual monogamy--are not feasible for millions of people around the world, especially women. Many women do not have the social or economic power to insist on condom use and fidelity or to leave relationships that put them at risk. The AAN will: augment knowledge about HIV and AIDS; expand access to educational and reproductive health services; develop women's ability to negotiate safer sex; combat gender discrimination and violence; increase access to user-controlled prevention methods such as the female condom; and advocate for the development of microbicides.

Microbicides

Microbicides do not require a man's cooperation and thus would put the power to protect oneself into women's hands. In conjunction with the Global Campaign for Microbicides, the AAN will increase awareness of this potential new prevention tool, and will develop medical student advocates for increased microbicides research and education, through vehicles such as the Microbicides Development Act.

  1. Microbicides FAQ
  2. Microbicides Development Act Overview
  3. Full text of Senate Bill S. 823
  4. Full text of House Bill
  5. Microbicides: New Hope for Prevention of HIV and Other STDs-Long Version (1MB)
  6. Microbicides: New Hope for Prevention of HIV and Other STDs-Short Version (710KB)
  7. Read More About This Issue

Protection Against Transmission of HIV/AIDS for Women and Youth (PATHWAY) Act

Current US policy limits how funds are allocated for prevention education. Abstinence-until-marriage programs, which receive 1/3 of prevention funding, undermine the integration of comprehensive prevention programs. The AAN advocates for a comprehensive, integrated HIV-prevention strategy to address the vulnerabilities of women and girls. In collaboration with the Center for Health and Gender Equity and partner organizations, we will back legislation which strikes the 1/3 earmark requirement thus allowing full funding for evidence-based HIV prevention.

  1. Overview of UNAIDS/UNFPA/UNIFEM Joint Report
    Women and HIV/AIDS: Confronting the Crisis
  2. Full Text of Report (1MB)
  3. AIDS's Has a Woman's Face (1.2MB)

PATHWAY Act

  1. Overview of Bill
  2. Full Text of Bill
  3. One-pager on the bill for Advocates
  4. One-pager on the bill for Congress
  5. Findings from the Government Accountability Office and the Intitute of Medicine about why the abstinence-until-marriage earmark needs to be removed
  6. Read more about the issue

Global Health Education Initiative

The global health field has seen an enormous boom of financial, social, and political support. This new found emphasis on the state of health of the world is altering the landscape of legislation, action, and most importantly education. Current medical school curriculums have a glaring lack of emphasis on global health education. Many world leaders have identified leadership training and education as the next steps to maintain the momentum created over the last decade. The AAN supports the education and training of the next generation of leaders who will dedicate their lives to combating HIV and other global diseases.

Leadership Institutes

AAN develops and organizes leadership institutes that aim to train medical student leaders in HIV and AIDS, microbicides, and global health. These opportunities provide them with the knowledge base that is lacking in medical schools and gives them the skills to impart change in their communities. They become the catalysts for change eliminating health disparities in their communities, regions, and around the globe.

Global Health Education Curriculum

AAN strives to develop a global health curriculum that can be implemented in medical schools around the country. Working with the supports of foundations, the AAN aims to develop a vehicle to connect interested medical students with the education and opportunities they desire, furthering their passion for global health. Ultimately this program will provide them the means to pursue careers that will address social injustice and poverty.

International Health Opps

International Health Opportunities
One of AMSA's longest running and most popular resources! Visit our International Health Opportunities Directory to find internships, fellowships, electives, course work, volunteer/educational and Medical Spanish opportunities.

AMSA Exchange Program

International Health Exchange Program
AMSA’s exchange program, through a partnership with IFMSA, offers students the opportunity to participate in clerkships, research activities, exchanges and electives worldwide. Find out more about these amazing opportunities.

Become a Leader

Looking to make a difference? Consider becoming a National Leader for AMSA, the leader in medical student and healthcare initiatives.