Father Michael Kelly World Aids Day Event 2013

February 5, 2014

As part of Ireland’s activities for 2013’s World AIDS Day (WAD), Irish Aid, in collaboration with the Irish Forum for Global Health, hosted the annual Father Michael Kelly World Aids Day Event at the Galway Bay Hotel on the 29th November.

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If you missed his powerful messages, don’t worry- you can:

The theme of 2013’s event was ‘Gender, sexuality and HIV’, targeting issues surrounding gender vulnerabilities and equality. Father Kelly brought his wealth of experience to bear in his standout lecture, ‘Aspects of Gender and HIV’, highlighting issues where women and girls are particularly at risk of discrimination, victimisation and inequality, as a consequence becoming especially vulnerable to HIV. Limited autonomy across economic, educational and sexual contexts, broader issues such as cultural expectations that women should be submissive to husbands or partners, and acceptance of domestic violence, can all act to increase risk of women contracting HIV, or limit access to care.

Father Kelly also spoke of the power that could be accessed to overcome these challenges, for example through better leadership to create social change, communicating with broader audiences through the media, and accessing children through the school system. His lecture made a powerful case for cross-sector approaches, the challenging of cultural norms, the integration of services to address violence against women into HIV services, and the implementation of laws to better protect women against violence and risk of HIV

Following an introductory talk by Brendan Rogers, Director General of Irish Aid, Trocaire launched a new exhibition, ‘Facing AIDS (PDF)‘ telling the stories of women’s vulnerability to HIV and gender-based violence, from Zimbabwe, Honduras and Ireland among others.

An inspiring member of Open Heart House finished the event by sharing the story of how the HIV-positive women of OHH sewed a beautiful quilt with positive messages about living with HIV.
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Additionally, our Student Outreach Group member, Chiedza McClean, featured the event on her Vlog.

Founded in 2006, this event celebrates Father Kelly’s outstanding achievements in helping to combat HIV’s spread and protect the most vulnerable, and serves as a focal point and gathering for the Irish global health community working against HIV. Father Kelly has lived and worked for 50 years in Zambia, and his efforts as an HIV / AIDS advocate have spanned a wide breadth of areas covering education, prevention and human rights. Some of Father Kelly’s past lectures can be found here:

Father Michael Kelly 2006 WAD lecture (PDF)

Father Michael Kelly 2007 WAD lecture (PDF)

Father Michael Kelly 2010 IFGH Plenary session (Powerpoint)

Father Michael Kelly 2012 WAD lecture (video)

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