On 1 March 2019, a technical meeting “Presentation and Discussion of the New Edition of the Information Strategy on HIV/AIDS” was held.
The first edition of the Information Strategy on HIV/AIDS has been implemented since 2011 and proved effective, so for today it is the best practice in the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The new edition of the document will include amendments and modifications in accordance with the latest achievements in the fight against HIV/AIDS and is meant to change the information field of the country with regard to the key groups most vulnerable to HIV.
Representatives of the United Nations Organization agencies, the Ministry of Healthcare of the Republic of Belarus, the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus, ONT TV channel, and nongovernmental organizations including Positive Movement, Meeting, Your Chance, Journalists for Justice and other took part in the discussion.
As UN Resident Coordinator in Belarus Joanna Kazana-Wisniowiecki stated during her address at the meeting, the slogan of the International Zero Discrimination Day in 2019 is “Act to Change Laws that Discriminate”, and it is aimed at promoting equality of everyone before the law and securing real equality in practice in all UN member states. She stressed that people living with HIV are especially vulnerable, and urged to apply efforts to enable HIV-positive people to live with dignity and to not face the problems of discrimination.
“People living with HIV are especially vulnerable to discrimination due to the whole range of factors including their HIV-positive status (and the problem of its disclosure or non-disclosure), sexual orientation, or drug abuse. UN helps Belarus to examine its legislation in this sphere through the working group created at the Ministry of Health. I hope this will help to ensure that the laws work for all those who face HIV-related problems,” – she said.
Applying the new edition of the Information Strategy will enable proper covering of HIV infection issues and reduce stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and the groups most vulnerable to HIV, which will help to remove barriers to accessing HIV prevention and treatment services and to achieve 90-90-90 targets.