Delivered by Valeriia Rachynska, NGO Europe
In the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region, one of the keys to achieving the TB targets of the 2016 Political Declaration is to achieve the 90-90-90 treatment target of UNAIDS. However, there are still many gaps and challenges in achieving these goals.
Yesterday, I addressed the challenges and problems of the 90-90-90 targets in the EECA region. Under the first 90, people are diagnosed late for HIV, even at their 3rd – 4th clinical stage. On the second and third 90, lack of access to ART and its low effectiveness lead to the fact that 40% of all TB cases in the region are HIV-TB coinfections. In which, 30% of all TB cases become MDR-TB due to poor treatment retention and effectiveness.
Stigma and discrimination remains extremely high in the society, particularly against HIV and TB. People become isolated, and your neighbors will stop talking to you but continue to talk about you.. Your friends will stop visiting you. You are put in a hospital for 6 to 20 months, often in an isolation room with very poor facilities and environment. Your diagnosis is reported to other institutions such as school or work without your consent. This puts you at at risk of losing your job, or being put in a special school for children with TB, further increasing your vulnerabilities and reduce your treatment and health outcomes . And again, , all these happen without your consent.
Confidentiality is a key concern in TB, as it is a notified disease if data is not managed properly increase in discrimination and breach of confidentiality and that also keeps people away from taking treatment in affordable government settings.
All of these conditions are excellent for TB to continue killing people but devastating for communities with TB.
We need to ensure that there is access to affordable medicines for TB, including first-line and medicines for MDR-TB; eliminate stigma and discrimination related to HIV and TB; increase the Member States’ political will to achieve the 90-90-90 target. Without these, we will continue to fail in ending TB.