Press Notice 58, Session 2005-06

HIV/AIDS: marginalized groups and emerging epidemics

Thursday 26 October, Location to be confirmed
(Palace of Westminster or Portcullis House)

At 14.30: Witnesses to be confirmed

At 15.30: Gareth Thomas MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for International Development

On World AIDS Day 2005 (1 December 2005), the International Development Committee issued a report on Delivering the Goods: HIV/AIDS and the provision of anti-retrovirals (HC 708). The Committee subsequently decided that it would return to the issue of HIV/AIDS on an annual basis, to hold the UK Government to account for the commitment it made during 2005 to support international efforts, led by UNAIDS, to achieve the goal of universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support for all those who need it, by 2010.

In consequence, the Committee will be holding an oral evidence session on Thursday 26 October. This session will focus on two distinct but interconnected issues. Firstly, the Committee will examine the provision of HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support to populations which are marginalized in society, including but not restricted to, commercial sex workers, intravenous drug users and men who have sex with men. Secondly, the Committee will scrutinise the extent to which HIV/AIDS policy and programming is effectively addressing emerging epidemics, including those in Eastern Europe and Asia.

UNAIDS' 2006 Report on the global AIDS epidemic highlighted the fact that the emerging epidemics in Eastern Europe and Asia are being largely driven by vulnerable and marginalised groups. Systematic work to address the particular HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care needs of marginalised groups has to date been lacking in many countries where HIV/AIDS epidemics have emerged relatively recently. The evidence session will focus specifically on the role played by DFID in addressing these issues, but also consider the contributions of the EU, the UN and NGOs.

Submission of written evidence

The Committee invites submissions from individuals and organisations with relevant expertise and experience, to submit written evidence on these issues by Friday 6 October 2006. The Committee is particularly interested in receiving evidence from organisations in developing countries and from those representing marginalized groups.

The Committee intends to produce a report.

Evidence submitted should:

  • if possible, be provided electronically in MS Word or Rich Text format, either by e-mail to or on a disk. If submitted by e-mail or e-mail attachment, a letter should also be sent validating the e-mail;

  • the letterhead should contain your full postal address and contact details;

  • any memorandum of more than six pages should begin with a one page summary;

  • have numbered paragraphs;

  • and avoid the use of colour or expensive-to-print material;

  • further guidance on the submission of evidence can be found in the Guide for Witnesses

Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included. Submissions can be sent via or, by post, to International Development Committee, 7 Millbank, London, SW1P 3JA. Please bear in mind that Committees are not able to investigate individual cases.

Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, either by printing the written evidence alongside the oral evidence or by making the evidence available through the Parliamentary Record Office. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

It would be helpful, for Data Protection purposes, if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details separately in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Detailed enquiries to Dr Hannah Weston, Second Clerk, on 020 7219 0851 or

Please note that starting times of evidence sessions may be subject to late changes. Those wishing to attend either of these sessions should contact the Committee Office Information Line on 020 7219 2033 to confirm the venue the day before the hearing, or please have a look at the 'Future meetings' section of our website, nearer the day of the meeting.

Further Information:

The membership of the Committee is as follows: Malcolm Bruce MP (Chairman, Lib Dem), John Barrett MP (Lib Dem), John Battle MP (Lab), John Bercow MP (Con), Hugh Bayley MP (Lab), Richard Burden MP (Lab), Mr Quentin Davies MP (Con), Mr Jeremy Hunt MP (Con), Ann McKechin MP (Lab), Joan Ruddock MP (Lab), Mr Marsha Singh (Lab).

Committee website:

Watch committees and parliamentary debates online:

Publications/Reports/Reference Material: Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge Street, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 7023474)