A što je sa preostalih 364 dana?

Povodom Svjetskog dana AIDS-a prenosimo priopćenje za medije najveće mreže osoba koje žive s HIV-om u Europi (EATG- Europska AIDS tretman grupa)

Brussels, 01.12. 2015.

And what about the other 364 days?

The European AIDS Treatment Group (EATG – www.eatg.org), one of the largest networks of people living with and affected by HIV in Europe, welcomes and supports the countless important and interesting events that conclude the European HIV and Hepatitis Testing Week1 on World AIDS Day the 1st December 2015. Yet also warns that the HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) epidemics are far from over in Europe, and there are pressing issues that need to be tackled especially in Eastern Europe and Central Asia2.

The EATG emphasises that targeted HIV testing is key if we want to mount a sustainable response to the epidemic that may eventually lead to halting HIV globally. Community based voluntary testing services (CBVT) are key to scale up testing and linkage to care of most affected populations throughout the region of WHO Europe3.

“HIV and HCV testing needs to be a low-threshold service. We need demedicalisation of testing; we need many more trained community based testing and counselling sites. There is already an informal network of such ”Checkpoints”, and the community does everything it can to build on this best practice. We call on national authorities to address the regulatory and financial barrier hindering the scaling up of testing services by trained lay providers”, points out Mr. Luís Mendão, Chair of the EATG.

In Greece, Spain or Portugal, roughly 30% of new HIV infections were detected in community based testing sites in 2014, a tremendous increase from 18% in 2013. Linkage to care is more reliable and effective if done and monitored by peer helpers. Community based testing sites can also contribute to easing the burden on health care systems by effectively reaching key populations affected by HIV like migrants, prisoners, people who inject drugs and men who have sex with men. They also play an essential role in approaching women at risk of contracting HIV more efficiently than traditional services.

“Testing only makes sense with appropriate counselling and linkage to care. The EATG’s activity is arranged along three main pillars: science, policy and capacity building. Testing and counselling bring together all of these key areas, which we pursue by always focusing on the patients’ and the affected communities’ perspective”, confirms Mr. Bryan Teixeira, Chair of the EATG’s Policy Working Group.

The EATG strongly supports and endorses all efforts undertaken on World AIDS Day to call the attention of the general public to the HIV epidemic, and to the fact that, for the first time, we have all the necessary tools to halt and curb the HIV epidemic, and we have effective medication to cure more than 90% of HCV infections. However, we also want to call the attention of decision makers and the general public that the HIV epidemic is not over yet, and there is no time for complacency; while testing must become a low-threshold, demedicalised, accessible service. The communities of people living with or affected by HIV and HCV keep on fighting the HIV epidemic every day, all year. Please join us in this work.