Conclusive Regional Dialogue on HIV in Georgia, Rights and Universal Access in Eastern EuropeOct 30, 2014
SHOMBI SHARP, UNDP DEPUTY HEAD WELCOMED PARTICIPANTS OF THE REGIONAL DIALOGUE. 2014. PHOTO: DAVID KHIZANISHVILI/UNDP
UNDP is hosting a regional dialogue on HIV, rights and universal access in Eastern Europe in Tbilisi, Georgia. The dialogue brought together more than 70 distinguished members of civil society, government and international organizations that work in the field of HIV from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.
The Dialogue tackled a serious rights and health issue: the growing HIV epidemic in Eastern Europe and the need to scale up and improve access to prevention, treatment, care and support. Key focus of the discussions is the obstacles encountered in legislation, policies and practices, such as criminalization of HIV transmission, criminalization of behavior of people most at risk of HIV, stigma and discrimination, inadequate provisions on prevention, treatment, care and support, including harm reduction.
The Dialogue assessed how civil society has helped improve the response to HIV in the region, what were the challenges in interaction with governments and what would be the next steps, in order to ensure that communities of people living with HIV, NGOs and civil society actors have meaningful roles as quality service providers. Participants discussed new challenges in HIV such as the crisis in Ukraine, or the proliferation of homophobic legislative initiatives.
The Regional Dialogue is the conclusive part of the regional project “ HIV, Rights and Universal Access in Eastern Europe” implemented by fourteen non-government organizations in partnership with UNDP and theInternational Development Law Organization (IDLO) since 2012. The project is co-financed by the European Union.