This year’s theme for World AIDS Day is “Equalize”.

Since 2001 AFEW International has been working for all people in Eastern Europe and Central Asia region who face barriers to accessing health services, justice, and social participation and who are especially affected by HIV, TB and HCV, and other communicable diseases.

Today, together with the whole world, AFEW International urges everyone to address the inequalities which are holding back progress in ending AIDS.  We urge all our partners, and colleagues not only in the EECA region, but all over the world, to unite and eliminate the inequities that create barriers to HIV care, testing, and prevention. It is especially important today, during an unstable and extremely difficult time in the whole region. Much of what has been achieved in recent decades in terms of access to HIV prevention and care services and harm reduction is now under extreme risk, and rebuilding various systems will take a long time requiring significant resources.

Following our new strategy, we will continue working towards a world in which underserved populations gain access to health care free from stigma and discrimination. We will continue providing support and a strong international voice on rights and on healthcare access for underserved populations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. In the coming years we will be focusing on achieving three goals:

  • Greater visibility for underserved populations’ needs in the EECA region and their needs related to health and rights, including targeted support for displaced populations in the Netherlands and across the EU;
  • Strengthening AFEW partnership and partners’ capacities on improving health and social protection for underserved populations & communities;
  • Linking and learning, providing platforms and opportunities for effective exchange and access to knowledge to the wider EECA region and neighborhood countries,

We will end AIDS faster if we end the inequalities! Let’s do it together! Let’s do it now!  Let’s equalize!

Yuliya van Polanen, Executive Director AFEW International

Recommended Posts