The Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regonal Consultation on Universal Access was held in Kiev, Ukraine from 16-18 March 2011. This consultation involved representatives from governments, national AIDS councils, parliamentarians, national and international civil society, PLHIV Networks, international organizations and donors. NGO Delegate Matthew Southwell, from the International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD), attended.
The meeting was closed by the statement of ECUO representative prepared on behalf of civil society networks which urged national governments, international agencies, the UN and donors to undertake urgent actions to stop the spread of the HIV epidemic and to scale up universal access in the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
These regional consultations and their outcomes will assist in influencing the messaging of the reports and documents that will be produced at the upcoming Civil Society Hearing on 8 April 2011 and the High-Level Meeting on 10-11 June 2011, both in New York City.
Statement resulting of the Regional Consultation on universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support for HIV in Europe and Central Asia
On behalf of the communities of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and key populations at risk of HIV infection, in particular people who use drugs, men who have sex with men, women and girls, sex workers, migrants and prisoners, we express our concern over the lack of effective response to the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA).
Building on the outcomes of the Regional Consultation on universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support in Europe and Central Asia, and in anticipation of the adoption in June 2011 of the new brief action-oriented declaration, we demand that political compromises that lead to violations of the RIGHT TO LIFE be avoided.
We call upon UN agencies, international community and national governments to take urgent actions to stop the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic in EECA.
- We demand that HIV/AIDS funding be framed as a vital investment into the national economies, lives and wellbeing of future generations.
- We demand that venues for the PLWH and key populations be guaranteed to directly influence the development, implementation and evaluation of HIV/AIDS programs, as well as the process of setting HIV/AIDS funding priorities.
- We demand that all barriers that restrict access of people who use drugs to a comprehensive package of prevention and treatment interventions, including opioid substitution therapy and harm reduction programs, be immediately removed.
- We demand that programs of integrated treatment for HIV, tuberculosis, drug addiction and viral hepatitis be established.
- We demand that antiretroviral therapy (ART) be considered both as an effective HIV treatment and HIV prevention intervention.
- We demand efficient, uninterrupted and transparent ART procurement and supply.
- We demand lower prices for ART drugs and for viral hepatitis treatment.
- We demand one hundred percent coverage with ART.
- We demand that commitments to protect the right to life be acted on immediately by taking real actions and by funding appropriate HIV response.