[16days_discussion] Fwd: Urgent Action Needed: International Sign-On Letter to Support Female Condoms at U.S. FDA Review

16 Days Campaign 16days at cwgl.rutgers.edu
Thu Dec 4 14:49:37 EST 2008


>
> Subject: 	Urgent Action Needed: International Sign-On Letter to 
> Support Female Condoms at U.S. FDA Review
> Date: 	Thu, 4 Dec 2008 13:49:36 -0500 (EST)
> From: 	Kimberly Whipkey <change at genderhealth.org>
> Reply-To: 	change at genderhealth.org
>
> 	
>
>
>
>
> Next week, on December 11, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 
> advisory committee on Obstetrics and Gynecology Devices will decide 
> whether to recommend approval of the FC2, the second generation of the 
> Female Health Company's female condom.  As you know, female condoms 
> <http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=D0MX2zikwKlEZlNRIBcp%2FnTjOAypeECq> 
> are the only existing HIV prevention method designed for women's 
> initiation and are effective in preventing HIV and other sexually 
> transmitted infections, as well as unwanted pregnancy.   
>
> The World Health Organization and the United Nations Population Fund 
> have already approved the FC2 for distribution by HIV/AIDS and family 
> planning organizations. The regulatory agency's approval has important 
> implications for women in the U.S. and around the world, such as 
> contributing toward lowering the cost of female condoms and increasing 
> the ability of HIV-positive women to protect themselves and their 
> partners and lead safe and satisfying sexual lives.  FC2 approval 
> would enable USAID to purchase and distribute greater numbers of these 
> lower-cost female condoms, helping more women take prevention into 
> their own hands.  The U.S. FDA review provides a critical opportunity 
> to raise the voices of civil society in support of female condoms and 
> the urgent need for effective HIV prevention for women globally.    
>
> On behalf of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago 
> <http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=g3TWfi7MAOiDvmojyXA0wXTjOAypeECq> 
> and the National Women's Health Network 
> <http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=5MKN%2F8LoAtF4P9YvVUjQIHTjOAypeECq>, 
> CHANGE is circulating an organizational sign-on letter urging the FDA 
> to consider the importance of female condoms when deliberating over 
> the approval of the FC2.  This letter is open to organizations in the 
> U.S. and around the world.  We hope that you will consider adding your 
> organization as an endorser.
>
> *Please email Jessica Terlikowski at **jterlikowski at aidschicago.org 
> <http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=R3eBCt9NBxQn8iE%2Bdme2GHTjOAypeECq>no 
> later than 5:00pm Central Daylight Time on Wednesday, December 10 to 
> endorse the letter.*
>
> The letter is pasted below and is also available by clicking here 
> <http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=tgMyxMPtIIbhCWBWP%2F1WeXTjOAypeECq>.  
> Thank you for your consideration and support on this critical issue.
>
> For more information about female condoms and advocacy efforts to 
> increase investment in this prevention method, visit 
> www.preventionnow.net. 
> <http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=X9jym3dvrAo6fBXOO17PEnTjOAypeECq>
>
> In solidarity,
>
> Kim Whipkey
> Advocacy and Outreach Associate
> Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE)
>
>
> December 11, 2008
>
> Dear Obstetrics and Gynecology Devices Advisory Committee Members,
>
> We, the undersigned organizations committed to women's sexual and 
> reproductive health and human rights, strongly urge you to consider 
> the importance of female condoms while you deliberate over FDA 
> pre-market approval of the FC2--the second generation of the Female 
> Health Company's female condom--that enables a woman to initiate 
> protection against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections 
> (STIs), as well as unintended pregnancy.
>
> HIV/AIDS is rapidly becoming a women and girls' pandemic. According to 
> UNAIDS, women comprised half of the 33.2 million people living with 
> HIV/AIDS in 2007. The realities of many women's lives, coupled with a 
> lack of access to sexual and reproductive health information and 
> services including HIV prevention tools, make it difficult for women 
> to take the steps necessary to protect themselves against STIs and HIV 
> infection and unintended pregnancy. Poverty, intimate partner 
> violence, restrictive gender and cultural norms, and limited access to 
> education are just a few of the factors that contribute toward 
> increasing a woman's risk of HIV.  
>
> The feminization of HIV and AIDS requires a woman-centered response 
> and access to a range of safe, effective, and affordable prevention 
> methods for women-including female condoms and effective education on 
> their use-can play a strong role in stemming the number of new HIV 
> infections.  Women need tools like the female condom to stay healthy, 
> plan pregnancy, and protect their partners from HIV. According to the 
> Center for Health and Gender Equity's report /Saving Lives Now: Female 
> Condoms and the Role of U.S. Foreign Aid/, several studies have 
> demonstrated that effective promotion and programming of the female 
> condom increase the total number of protected sex acts, thus reducing 
> a couple's risk of infection of HIV and STIs.
>
> Despite the urgent need for woman-controlled HIV prevention methods, 
> domestic and international HIV/AIDS organizations face many challenges 
> in providing the female condom to women and communities in greatest 
> need, including a lack of political will and donor investment, as well 
> as the relatively high cost of the product.  The FC2 female condom can 
> play a major role in increasing distribution and facilitating uptake 
> of the female condom in the U.S. and internationally because it is 
> composed of a less costly material than the first generation Female 
> Health Company female condom (FC1).  Coupled with sustainable 
> procurement and distribution and effective programming, the FC2 has 
> great promise for getting into the hands of women worldwide and 
> ultimately saving lives.   
>
> Though researchers are tirelessly working to develop a broad spectrum 
> of new prevention technologies including microbicides, vaccines, and 
> pre-exposure prophylaxis, such products will not be available for many 
> years. Female condoms are tools women can use right now--today--to 
> protect themselves against HIV and other STIs. With the HIV/AIDS 
> crisis continuing across the globe, the need to step up prevention 
> efforts is ever more critical. The approval of a safe and effective 
> female condom that can be made available to more women is an important 
> step in putting the power of prevention into women's hands.
>
> Sincerely,
>
> (/List in formation/)
>
> AIDS Foundation of Chicago
> Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE)
> National Women's Health Network
>
>

-- 
The CWGL Staff
16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign
Center for Women's Global Leadership
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
160 Ryders Lane
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8555
Tel: 1-732-932-8782
Fax: 1-732-932-1180
Email: 16days at cwgl.rutgers.edu
Website: http://www.cwgl.rutgers.edu 

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