Ministerial policy dialogue on HIV and related comorbidities in eastern Europe and central Asia

23 July 2018, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

The WHO European Region is the only WHO region where the number of new HIV infections is increasing. In 2016, about 160 000 new HIV infections were reported, with nearly 80% of them from eastern Europe and central Asia (EECA). Tuberculosis (TB)/HIV coinfections have also increased 4-fold in the Region over the last decade, indicating the need to accelerate efforts for coordinated and/or integrated care.

Despite progress in several areas, including reduction of TB incidence throughout the Region, preventing and controlling the HIV epidemic remains a major challenge, especially within key populations. Nearly half of all people living with HIV in the Region are unaware of their infection and half of those diagnosed start treatment late, resulting in excess morbidity and mortality.

Aims

The Ministerial policy dialogue, organized by WHO in cooperation with the Government of the Netherlands, gathers ministers of health and their senior policy-makers from countries in EECA to revamp political commitment to HIV and scale up the HIV response in EECA. Participants will exchange experiences on approaches towards sustainable, innovative and evidence-based HIV responses. These include national efforts to scale-up prevention, testing, treatment and care, as well as elimination of mother to child transmission. These interventions should at the same time address stigma and social determinants, and increase domestic resources.

Selected key partners such as the European Commission, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, civil society representatives and people living with HIV have been invited to take part in the dialogue.

WHO’s new tool to support countries

At the high-level meeting, WHO/Europe will launch a compendium of good practices for the implementation of the Action Plan for the Health Sector Response to HIV in the WHO European Region, to be used for adapting or replicating good practices established across the Region and beyond.

Towards ending the HIV epidemic by 2030

Through strong intersectoral collaboration, and targeted prevention and care efforts following a public health approach, the European Region is revamping its commitment to move forward to end the HIV epidemic by 2030 and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 3.3 (By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases).

The meeting will take place back to back with the 22nd International AIDS Conference (Amsterdam, Netherlands, 23–27 July 2018).