The Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+) is hosting the People Living with HIV Networking Zone in the Global Village. They are inviting local, national and regional PLHIV organizations to submit proposals to host interactive presentations, panel discussions, art and entertainment activities. If you are interested look here on how to apply . The deadline is 15 June 2018.
Spotlight on Eastern Europe
One of the acknowledged themes of the conference, and one of the reasons for it being in Amsterdam, is to put a spotlight on the issues of HIV in Eastern Europe. Clearly, Amsterdam is not in Eastern Europe, however many eastern European countries have unfavorable conditions and, in many cases, restrictions and punitive laws for sex workers, men who have sex with men and people who use drugs that would make it difficult to stage such a conference in many of these countries.
But even so, why a focus on Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA)?
In the past two years Eastern Europe and Central Asia are the only regions in the world where the HIV epidemic continued to rise rapidly. Together, these regions accounted for a 57% increase in global new HIV infections between 2010 and 2015. The epidemic is concentrated predominantly among key affected populations – in particular, people who inject drugs – yet there is low coverage of harm reduction and other HIV prevention programmes in key countries within the region. The scaling up of treatment and prevention, particularly for key affected populations, is an urgent priority. See more here
So how is this focus on the region going to be shown at AIDS 2018?
Thanks to some great work (supported by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, AFEW International, the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association, GNP+ , and the Amsterdam Youth Force) communities, individuals, academics and policy makers from EECA have been mentored and supported in the lead up to this conference. This was designed to enable them to make high quality abstract and activity submissions, resulting in more being accepted as presenters and thus more speakers at the conference.
You can expect to see about 200 abstracts from the region being presented at the conference and at least 130 scholarship recipients from the region being present. Although the full report and the ‘metrics of the abstracts and the scholarships from the region is not yet available, from all indications, it looks like there will be plenty of new information from the region.
A vibrant and fully packed Eastern European and Central Asia Networking Zone will take place in the Global Village. The three themes for this zone will be;
Financial sustainability for AIDS response in the EECA
Combatting legal barriers for effective prevention and care
The Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV (GIPA). For a good overview of GIPA go here for a slide set or here for a briefing note from UNAIDS
Related sessions to particularly look out for in the Global Village will be those showing the results of the newly revised People Living with HIV Stigma Index. In the past few months, the first implementation of this updated and revised tool has been in Lithuania and Latvia and details of this session will be available at www.stigmaindex.org as well as in the conference programme. The conference programme is now ‘live’ and is available HERE . Do remember though that this programme is subject to change as new sessions and activities are considered and integrated. Also, do not forget about the networking zones in the Global Village which host some of the most innovative program examples and these may not be listed in the full conference programme.
Significantly, the opening and closing ceremonies will be translated into Russian as well as all four plenary sessions and several other key sessions. To keep abreast of all that is happening of interest regarding the EECA region in the lead up to and at the conference stay tuned to the following:
Other cultural and affiliated events to watch out for …
A specially commissioned play, POZ PARADISE opens on the 24th July. Created by director / writer Daniel Cohen, this is described on its website as: ‘a new theatre performance about the current situation regarding HIV and AIDS, with a lighter tone and focused on the future. The piece wants to offer a modern Dutch alternative to aids-related pieces such as The Normal Heart and Angels in America, which focus on the situation in America in the nineties and which are now relatively outdated’.
As a reminder this event is happening on Thursday 26 July from 20:30 onwards and promises to be a ‘not to be missed’ event!
The U=U campaign with the assistance of the Dutch Association of People Living with HIV are organising a U=U section of the march to spread the U=U message and show people that it is a universal and important message. For more information about this initiative go here