NGO Delegate Dasha Ocheret, Europe
To the chair of the Committee of Cosponsoring Organizations (CCO)
That said, civil society would welcome more leadership and coordination among Co-sponsors in preventing and responding to crisis situations which occur in different countries across all regions and often limit access to HIV services, reverse gains in the response and undermine efforts to prevent new HIV infections and AIDS deaths in these countries.
The ongoing crisis in Crimea and Eastern parts of Ukraine, which has been mentioned by in the Executive Director’s report, has seen hundreds of people living with HIV and those who use drugs being left without access to vitally important treatment including opioid substitution treatment with methadone and buprenorphine. Stock-outs of both ARVs and drug treatment are emerging, making access and adherence to HIV treatment problematic. Dozens of deaths have been already registered, and more are expected if co-sponsors do not intervene.
The situation that was born out of the enactment of the anti-homosexuality law in Uganda, with the closing of clinics providing services to men who have sex with men, and the arrests and harassment of people perceived to be part of this community is another one of such crises.
There is need for a higher level of engagement by co-sponsors, including providing political and technical support towards the response and the development and adoption of a contingency plans to prevent and pre-empt such crises.”