Following the 2016 High-Level Meeting on AIDS, held in New York City from June 8-10, United Nations member states adopted a Political Declaration that sets ambitious goals to accelerate HIV prevention and treatment targets. Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS: On the Fast-Track to Accelerate the Fight against HIV and to End the AIDS Epidemic by 2030 does not adequately address the HIV epidemic among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender people and other key populations. ECOM, along with partner organizations, has prepared an Advocacy Guide, which takes a closer look at the Political Declaration, and which can be used by communities in the EECA region for advocacy at the national level.

The Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF) together with the Global Platform to Fast-Track the HIV and Human Rights Responses Among Gay and Bisexual Men and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men (The Platform) along with ECOM have developed the Advocacy Guide that analyzes the paragraphs of the Political Declaration relevant to MSM and transgender issues, and offers advocacy opportunities at the national level.

Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) is one of the world’s only two regions where HIV incidence and AIDS-related deaths are still increasing. Despite the significant efforts that have been put into the HIV response in this region, the HIV epidemics among MSM and transgender people have remained hidden and largely ignored. Across the region, HIV prevalence is up to 6 times higher among MSM than the general population.

The Declaration falls short in many ways, in particular due to its treatment of MSM, transgender people, and other key populations. The declaration’s failure to adequately address the HIV epidemic among these populations means that they will remain invisible and will not receive the necessary resources and support to effectively respond to the HIV epidemic. The declaration also includes references that would allow states to define their own epidemics and responses, while ignoring evidence showing that MSM, transgender people, and other key populations are consistently at high risk of becoming infected with HIV.

The declaration also makes explicit reference to transgender people for the first time in the history of the UN General Assembly, an historic and significant achievement, given how invisible this population has been in the HIV response in the past.

The Political Declaration is available here.

Download full guide in .pdf (287 kB):


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