Position Paper of ECOM

On the World AIDS Day 2019, ECOM expresses grave concern about the situation with transmission of HIV among gay men, other MSM and trans* people in the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
– HIV incidence in EECA is growing faster than in any other region of the world. Between 2010 and 2018 the number of new HIV cases among gay men and other MSM in the region grew by.
– EECA is one of the world’s leading regions in terms of deaths from HIV-related conditions: their number was 38,000 in 2018.
– Among all the cases of new HIV infection and HIV-related deaths, 22% can be attributed to gay men, other MSM and trans* people.

Such data demonstrate small coverage and low efficiency of HIV prevention programs for MSM and trans* people in the region.
Modern evidence-based methods, such as pre-exposure prophylaxis and HIV self-testing, are still not widely used. There is no accurate strategic information on the HIV epidemic among trans* people in EECA.
Stigma, discrimination and violence against gay men, other MSM and trans* people are still widespread, contributing to the vulnerability of such populations to HIV.
With the continuing withdrawal of the Global Fund support, the existing prevention programs for key populations, including MSM and trans* people, are scaled down in the region.

ECOM reaffirms its commitment to facilitating the dialogue between civil society organizations and government agencies.

ECOM CALLS UPON COMMUNITIES AND PARTNERS TO
– Scale up modern evidence-based methods of HIV prevention, such as pre-exposure prophylaxis and self-testing for HIV;
– Build the capacity of LGBT communities and civil society organizations, facilitate their engagement in decision-making at the national level;
– Develop social strategies and laws reducing inequality, stigma and discrimination as well as improving access to health services for gay men, other MSM and trans* people;
– Implement legal literacy programs and legal support services for gay men, other MSM and trans* people.

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