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The All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV position on HIV2020

We, the All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV,  declare our solidarity with the position of the Global Network of People Living with HIV and the International Community of Women Living with HIV on the alternative conference HIV2020 to be held Mexico City and hereby express our full support to the event organizers.

The next International Conference AIDS-2020 will be held on July 6-10 in San Francisco and Oakland, USA. However, the US visa policy, as well as the existing restrictions on entry  for commercial sex workers, people who use drugs and ex-prisoners, give us grounds to believe that key communities will be substantially limited in full-fledged participation in AIDS 2020. We consider the current situation unacceptable as it not only discriminates against PLHIV but also undermines the core values ​​of the International AIDS Society – the main organizer of the AIDS-2020 conference – such as espect for human rights, inclusivity and meaningfull engagement of key communities.

The All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV is the largest community-led organization in the EECA region. Every day we  fight fiercely for the lives of more than 280,000 PLHIV in the region, which is experiencing significant difficulties in financing HIV / AIDS programs. Over the past few years, we have been able to achieve significant success in implementing the Transition Plan and increasing funding for prevention and treatment programs through national budgets. This was made possible with the simple step of involving key groups in the dialogue with experts and the state. In the coming year, the main global HIV/AIDS platform risks to be left without the voice of the community – the voice that is decisive in stopping the epidemic.

According to international experts, and based on the experience of previous conferences, the estimated cost of AIDS-2020 is $100 million. For comparison, in 2019, Ukraine alone plans to allocate $ 23 million for ART procurement. That is why we consider hosting AIDS-2020  in a country that imposes legal barriers for community members entry, not only blasphemous but also financially unfounded.

In the light of the abovementioned, the All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV expresses its full support for the HIV2020 Conference and its organizers. The HIV2020 is an alternative to AIDS-2020 which offers platform that provides a platform for communication for those who for various reasons will not be able to enter the United States to attend the IAS Official Conference in San Francisco and Oakland. HIV2020 will be held in Mexico City on July 6-8, 2020 in parallel with the AIDS-2020 core program.

We encourage our partners and friends to formally endorse HIV2020 and join the development of the conference program. This event is a new opportunity to review the ineffective tools of responding to the epidemic in close collaboration with those who genuinely need them.

It is important to note that we also support those of our colleagues who will be able to attend AIDS 2020, as this will contribute to greater community representation and leadership in decision-making on HIV / AIDS, as well as in enhancing communities’ voice and advocacy efforts at forums that for various reasons remain inaccessible or closed to them.

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