Comunicato stampa del Forum della Società Civile Europea su Hiv ed Aids, in occasione della Conferenza "Fight against HIV/AIDS ten years after the Dublin Declaration: Leaving no One Behind – Ending AIDS in Europe", in corso a Roma sotto gli auspici della Presidenza Italiana del Consiglio dell'Unione Europea.
"We call on your leadership"
Rome 27th November 2014
Over 30 years into the epidemic, there is ample evidence of what works and what does not work in addressing HIV and yet, strikingly, the epidemic continues to grow in Europe. Civil society organisations are calling for renewed political leadership at European level that is based on evidence based policy, not ideology.
As the EU is reconvening to review progress made in the fight against HIV and AIDS under the auspices of the Italian EU Presidency at the conference "Fight against HIV/AIDS ten years after the Dublin Declaration: Leaving no One Behind – Ending AIDS in Europe" in Rome on 27-28 November, civil society urges governments to deliver on their responsibility to promote human rights and public health.
European leaders hold the key to stop the epidemic, they have the political and economic resources to implement HIV strategies. "It's discrimination that feeds the epidemic. With the right measures, governments can have an impact on discrimination that makes key populations vulnerable. No one can be left behind!" declared Lella Cosmaro, co-Chair of the EU Civil Society Forum on HIV and Steering Committee Member of AIDS Action Europe.
Governments and donors ought to scale up investments in innovative and tailored approaches to those most affected, be it men having sex with men, migrants, people who inject drugs, sex workers, transgender, and people in detention. Where policies based on evidence, human rights and comprehensive harm reduction approaches for PWID were implemented, the epidemic has been stemmed, whereas coercive policies and insufficient investment in prevention and community services have contributed to worsen the epidemic. Prevention among MSM and migrants requires innovative approaches to reverse the continuing increase in the epidemic.
Access to prevention and treatment for everyone is urgent regardless of administrative or insurance status. Governments are behaving irresponsibly by denying access to migrants with irregular status. Europe is violating human rights by deporting seriously ill patients to countries where they have no access to treatment in practice. It is unacceptable that persons in detention have a more limited or no access to prevention and treatment.
The EU should take up its responsibilities to support countries in finding ways to finance the domestic response to HIV, TB, Hepatitis C and other related infections. For instance, it could expand funding of models proven to be effective and contribute to the financing of the prevention, treatment and care.
Civil society calls European governments to find ways to access affordable medicines and diagnostics for HIV, viral hepatitis and tuberculosis. In 2014, for the first time, a cure for hepatitis C was approved, yet governments have so far been unable to get affordable prices for this treatment. Health systems, even in wealthier countries cannot sustain the price asked by companies. This has meant that governments are rationing access to treatment or are simply not in position to provide access at all. "That universal access to a cure of an infectious disease is limited or non-existent due to prices is a political scandal from a human rights and a public health point of view", said Tamás Bereczky, co-Chair of the EU Civil Society Form on HIV and board member from the European AIDS Treatment Group.
Ann Isabelle von Lingen, European AIDS Treatment: tel+32 491 34 83 17
Silke Klumb, AIDS Action Europe: tel +49 163 250 24 35