Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) remains the only region in the world where new HIV cases and AIDS deaths continue to grow rapidly. Low access to treatment, repressive legislation, stigma and discrimination of key populations, as well as the unwillingness of states to finance and ensure the sustainability of prevention programs in the EECA region, hinder an effective response to the epidemic.
The response to HIV in Eastern Europe and Central Asia will only be successful if decriminalization, destigmatization, zero discrimination and demedicalization are recognized as key needs of the communities. These aspects require comprehensive support from the global community, enhanced partnerships and immediate action by all stakeholders.
One of the AIDS 2018 objectives is to spotlight the state of the epidemic and the HIV response in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. It’s the right time and place to attract the attention of the whole world to the region and communities’ actions and to support them.
Therefore we, the team of regional community networks*, are joining forces in the campaign at AIDS 2018. Our slogan – Chase the virus, not people! Our goal is to present to the world the impact of repressive, discriminatory laws and practices of their application, as well as stigma against key populations and people living with HIV. To achieve obligations to create an enabling legal environment and to involve key populations and people living with HIV in decision-making processes. We are ready to show the negative consequences of the reduction in international support and to seek global assistance to mobilize resources for stabilizing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the EECA region.
“Chase the virus, not people!” campaign aims at the common needs of all key populations and focuses on achieving the goals in general and for each community in particular.
The campaign key attribute is handcuffs, as a symbol of limited freedom and actions.
Support the campaign and the EECA region at AIDS 2018 and join its actions!
How to support and join the campaign:
– insert the logo of our campaign into one of the slides of your presentation at the conference;
– bring handcuffs and put them on during the campaign events (number of handcuffs from organizers is limited);
– join the campaign during the March, the opening of the Global Village, the opening/closing sessions, plenaries on July 24 and 26, and the activities in EECA Networking Zone in the Global Village (pavilion 515);
– support flash mob – every day (time will be announced) in different parts of the Global Village;
– take a picture in handcuffs at the conference and place a photo with the hashtag of the campaign in social networks:
Check the schedule of the campaign events and activities at www.chasevirus.org starting from July 7, 2018.
It’s time for joint actions!
*EECA communities team: Eurasian Coalition on Male Health (ECOM), East Europe and Central Asia Union of People Living with HIV (ECUO), EECA Sex Workers’ Alliance, Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA), Eurasian Network of People Who Use Drugs (ENPUD), Eurasian Union of Adolescents and Youth “Teenergizer”, Eurasian Women’s Network on AIDS (EWNA), Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN). Organizational partner – AFEW International (the Netherlands).