HIV/AIDS is a top priority for the International Council of Nurses and ICN has been instrumental in promoting prevention, care, treatment and sound policy to fight the epidemic. We continue to look into new ways of disseminating information to nurses around the world and to supporting linkages between different groups with a view to exchange of experiences and expertise. Given the constant need for information exchange the decision to form an HIV/AIDS Network was timely.
The ICN HIV/AIDS Network was launched at the 23rd ICN Quadrennial Congress in Taiwan, May 2005. Over 100 delegates attended the launch, most of which signed up to the network. The launch was presided over by an ICN Board member and known HIV/AIDS nurse researcher, Dr. Bill Holzemer, Professor, School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, USA.
The speakers at the launch were:
- Steve Jamieson – Royal College of Nursing, UK
- Tesfamicael Ghebrehiwet – ICN Representative
- Patrick Robinson – President, American Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC), USA
- Brenda Done – President, Canadian Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (CANAC), Canada
- Dotty Dikwayo – Co-ordinator, SADAC Network of Nurses and Midwives in AIDS Care (SANNAM), South Africa
- Ian Hodgson – Programme Adviser, Health and Development Networks, Thailand
- June Webber – Director, International Policy and Development, Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), Canada
Nursing has formed both national and regional HIV/AIDS nursing associations. It is hoped such organisations will maintain strong linkages through the ICN HIV/AIDS Network. Such groups include the Association of American Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC), The Canadian Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (CANAC), and the Southern African Development Community AIDS Network of Nurses and Midwives (SANNAM).
Another group, the European Association of Nurses in HIV/AIDS Care (EANAC) was set up in 1990 to provide a forum for HIV/AIDS nurses within the region. It was dissolved in 2004, as HIV/AIDS care has changed in many parts of Europe over the time of EANAC’s work. As part of closing EANAC, the remaining funds passed to ICN to support the ICN HIV/AIDS Network.