As the 2016 UN High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS will commence in New York, EECA civil society networks published the position paper “Eastern Europe and Central Asia: Let’s Not Lose Track” to draw attention to the catastrophic situation in our region and solutions that would enable us to catch up to the rest of the world on the track to move towards ending AIDS and achieving Strategic Development Goals by 2030.
The Position Paper clearly demonstrates that while the whole world is seeing the decrease in the rates of HIV infections and deaths due to AIDS, the situation in Eastern Europe and Central Asia still stays grave:
- EECA is the only region that failed to achieve MDG6 on HIV;
- 70% of PLHIV live in high-income countries;
- 1 in 5 HIV-positive people live below the national poverty line;
- only 20% of PLHIV are on ARV treatment.
The communities appeal “Eastern Europe and Central Asia: Let’s Not Lose Track” brings up issues of the HIV/AIDS programs transition to domestic funding, and in particular – the transition of the programs for key affected populations, and emphasizes the crucial importance of prevention services and linkage to prevention, testing, treatment and care without which it is impossible to reach 90-90-90 UNAIDS goal in the EECA region. The issue of the need in decreasing the prices for medicines and reforming the healthcare system and funding in order to ensure the smooth transition to the targeted care provision is stated as of the crucial importance in the report.
A particular attention in the Position of the EECA communities is drawn to the recommendations which can advantageously contribute to the stabilization of the HIV epidemic in the region:
- Governments must acknowledge the HIV, tuberculosis and hepatitis C burden borne by key populations and ensure that 90% of key populations are reached with targeted low threshold programming including prevention, testing and linkage to treatment and care.
- Donors including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, bilateral donors and others must adapt eligibility criteria that do not neglect inequitable access to services within middle and high income countries.
- Governments should utilize transparent, flexible and innovative approaches in the procurement of ARV medicines to ensure lowest possible prices for effective medicines including encouraging generic competition and application of TRIPS flexibilities and to ensure sustainable access to HIV quality treatment.
Further info and the full list of recommendations can be found in the full version of the Position paper here .
Printed copies of the Position paper will be distributed at the High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS. The electronic copies will be forwarded to the Global Fund, European Commission, UN Agencies, CCMs of the EECA region and other stakeholders.
This document has been developed by the initiative of the East Europe & Central Asia Union of People Living with HIV, the design and printing were provided by the Eurasian Coalition on Male Health, the translation into Russian and editing was done by the Alliance for Public Health, Ukraine.
The following regional networks contributed to the development of this document:
- East Europe & Central Asia Union of People Living with HIV (ECUO);
- Eurasian Coalition on Male Health (ECOM);
- Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (EHRN);
- Eurasian Network of People Using Drugs (ENPUD);
- Eurasian Women’s Network of AIDS (EWNA);
- European AIDS Treatment Group (EATG);
- International Treatment Preparedness Coalition in East Europe & Central Asia (ITPCru);
- Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN).