On May 31, 2019, acting mayor of Chisinau Ruslan Codreanu and UNAIDS Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia Vinay P. Saldanha, signed the Paris Declaration on accelerating action in Large Cities to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Chisinau became the first city in Moldova and the first among the cities of the regional project #SoS_project, which signed the declaration, thereby declaring its active leadership position in the global movement to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic in major cities around the world. It should be noted that in Moldova annually register about 900 new cases of HIV infection, about 20 percent of which occur in the capital.
In his speech, Ruslan Codreanu noted that this is a historical moment and it will be difficult to achieve the necessary indicators of the strategy 90-90-90, but it is never too late to start making the necessary changes to improve the lives and health of people. “The program’s budget will amount to 1.7 million lei. This money will be spent on information campaigns, prevention, which is important, treatment, care and support. It’s not quite clear where this money will be allocated, but we are counting on social partnership,” – said prime.md acting mayor of Chisinau Ruslan Codreanu.
The city authorities of the capital of Moldova have committed themselves to a significant increase in the coverage of Chisinau residents in the prevention, testing and treatment of HIV infection, with the goal of eliminating the AIDS epidemic and focusing on programs for key groups.
“Chisinau was the first to sign the Paris Declaration in the new regional project “Sustainability of HIV services for key groups in the EECA region” (aka # SoS_project), which covers 14 countries and 24 cities in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region. The capital of Moldova sets an example to other cities, how to take the initiative in their own hands, applying the best international experience, developing an effective urban strategy, allocating the necessary funding and supporting effective HIV/AIDS activities to improve the health of citizens. This is not the final point, but only the beginning of an effective municipal response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, where the non-governmental sector, which is very well developed in Moldova, should play a crucial role. Our organization has experience with the association Positive Initiative, which has great expertise in this area. And we are convinced that NGOs must become strategic partners at the municipal level in order to successfully achieve common goals. The Alliance team is ready to provide technical and expert support to the city, ” – said Andriy Klepikov, executive director of the Alliance for Public Health .
The Paris Declaration assumes that the city undertakes to do everything to achieve the indicators 90-90-90 by 2020. This means that 90% of all residents should be tested for HIV, 90% of those infected should receive treatment and 90% of them should have zero viral load (the virus must be completely suppressed). According to the World Health Organization, by 2030 the world will be able to stop the HIV epidemic.
“It is extremely important for us that the Paris Declaration does not become just another declarative statement. It is for this reason that we are working with partners to ensure that in the next 2-3 months the Municipal Program will be approved, in which there will be specific and measurable goals, distributed roles, and, accordingly, budgets. This will be the first confirmation that partners at the municipal level really want and are ready to mobilize in order to achieve the goals of strategy 90-90-90 and save lives ”, – said Ruslan Povega, CEO of the Initiative Positive association. – “Today we have witnessed a manifest political will, which is expressed in the fact that when people want, in a short time they do something that seemed to someone very difficult and impossible. I thank the mayor of the city for a sustainable partnership, for hearing us, understanding the importance of the subject matter and assuring that he will do everything possible so that at the municipal level the situation began to change for the better. I sincerely believe that the Paris Declaration in Chisinau will be successfully implemented. ”
In turn, Vinay P. Saldanha congratulated Chisinau on joining the international initiative and noted that the participants in the declaration “stop the spread of HIV once and for all.”
According to Mr. Saldana, the city needs to act at an accelerated pace not only to reach 90-90-90, but it is also extremely important to eliminate discrimination against people living with HIV and key groups, which is a significant barrier. And in this struggle the city is not alone, Chisinau is supported by a team of leaders at the regional and national level who are ready to share their expertise.
It should be noted that the signing of the Paris Declaration was one of the results of the project “Sustainability of HIV services for key groups in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region”, which is being implemented in Moldova by the public association Initiative Positive.
At the regional level, a three-year project under a grant from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is implemented by a consortium: Alliance for Public Health, 100% Life (All-Ukrainian Network of PLWH), The Central Asian Association of People Living with HIV and The Eurasian Health Network of Key People groups, with the participation of national governmental and non-governmental organizations, regional key populations networks , international agencies and organizations, as well as technical partners.
#SoS_project will focus on ensuring the sustainability of services for key populations in 14 countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. As a result of the project, by 2021, national funding for HIV/AIDS programs will be increased by $10 million from national, regional and municipal budgets in the countries of the EECA region. It is also planned to ensure $73.4 million savings in the countries budgets through optimised ARV procurement.
Text: Inna Gavrylova
Photos, video: Initiative Positive
Semnarea Declarației de la Paris privind stoparea epidemiei cu HIV
Опубліковано Initiativa Pozitiva Пʼятниця, 31 травня 2019 р.