The HIV epidemic continues to grow rapidly in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA). MSM and transgender (trans) people are one of the key populations in EECA. The HIV prevalence among MSM has reached the level of a concentrated epidemic in most countries of the region. Georgia, with 20.7% HIV prevalence among MSM has the highest level; in Kyrgyzstan HIV prevalence among MSM is 6%, and it is up to 16% in major cities of Ukraine. In Kazakhstan, HIV detection rate increased by 5.5 times between 2009 and 2016.
A number of countries in the region enforce laws and policies that limit the rights of LGBT people and reduce access to HIV services for MSM and trans people. The existing HIV response is insufficient to achieve the 90-90-90 goals. Funding of HIV programs targeting MSM and trans people is decreasing as international donors leave the region.
The EECA region must strengthen the knowledge base and build capacity for HIV interventions, develop a common regional information space, develop effective tools for cooperation and coordination in the response to the HIV epidemic among MSM and trans people.
Currently such actions are mostly occasional and generally limited to side events at regional and international conferences. The first and only Regional Consultation on HIV among MSM was held in 2010, second was held in 2018.
- ECOM Annual Report, 2016 http://ecom.ngo/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/ECOM-annual-report-2016-RUS.pdf
- Report about the Regional Consultation “Hidden Epidemic: HIV, Men Who practicing Sex with Men and Transgender People in Eastern Europe and Central Asia” http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/108582/2/e94967R.pdf