On December 10, in Istanbul (Turkey), the international HEALTH SUSTAINABILITY FORUM: HIV and COVID-19 in the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) will be held virtually. Official site of the forum and broadcast: http://forum.aph.org.ua/en/.
“In the context of countries’ transitioning to the national funding, the issue of sustainability of HIV services has been widely discussed in recent years both at the regional and international levels. Countries are reforming their health systems, and many are quite successful, but with the advent of COVID-19, the situation has found a new “player”, says Andriy Klepikov, executive director of the Alliance for Public Health. “We need to use all proven tools to prevent HIV transmission and save the lives of 1.6 million people living with HIV in our region.”
150 experts, including ministers of health, mayors and vice-mayors, representatives of international, national government and non-governmental organizations will meet for an urgent dialogue on the main aspects of the forum:
- Progress of the region in the fight against HIV over the past 3 years. Introduction of new technologies, practices and points of application of efforts.
- Donor and national funding for HIV / AIDS services during COVID-19, incl. in case of crisis situations.
- Budget advocacy strategies: how communities managed to secure an additional over $ 30 million for HIV services in Eastern Europe, Central Asia (EECA) and the Balkans.
- Reducing the price of ART: how countries managed to save $ 119 million by increasing only in 12 focus cities of the #SoS_project, at least 72 thousand people with HIV the chances of life by providing ARV therapy.
- Human rights protection in the EECA region: focus from problem to solution, 6000+ registered cases of human rights violations and their solution. Regional Commission on Drug Policy.
- Building partnerships with governments and the role of political leadership of city mayors in the fight against HIV / AIDS.
“In the countries of our region, we have an explosive mixture with low coverage of COVID-19 vaccines, very low testing rates, but high incidence rates. In the situation with HIV / AIDS, things are not going well: the EECA region is the only region in the world where new HIV cases continue to grow rapidly, and treatment coverage remains at 53%”, Andriy Klepikov emphasizes.
“But there is definitely progress. Thus, over the past three years, an additional $ 35 million has been allocated in the countries of EECA and the Balkans for HIV / AIDS programs, and more than 72,000 people began to receive ARV therapy for the first time. And this is only within the framework of #SoS_project, implemented with partners in 14 countries of the region. Therefore, I believe that with a general, thoughtful approach to solving urgent problems, starting with the authorities at the municipal level and ending with the international one, the achievement of the UN’s 95-95-95 HIV/AIDS Strategic Goals is absolutely real ”.
The forum program includes a press conference “Key to sustainable health system in the cities: HIV, COVID-19 and migrant health”, which will be held live on the website http://forum.aph.org.ua/en/, with the participation of mayors and vice-mayors of EECA cities.
Geography of the forum participants: 21 countries of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (CEECA) and the Balkan Peninsula: Czech Republic, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.
Forum is held by: International Charitable Foundation Alliance for Public Health, with financial support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and information support from UNAIDS.
The event will be broadcast live in English and Russian on the website http://forum.aph.org.ua/en/ and on the official pages of the Alliance and UNAIDS on Facebook and YouTube.