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Largest Ever Regional AIDS Conference to Review Epidemic Status and Changing Challenges in the Response
Date:5/1/2008

hich includes civil society representatives and people living with HIV. In Ukraine, the president established a new National Coordination Council on HIV/AIDS, TB and Drug Addiction, which he personally chairs and civil society has been working in close collaboration with government to scale up access to voluntary counseling and testing. In Armenia harm reduction programs for injecting drug users have been implemented in partnership with civil society and now cover 60 percent of the targeted population and in Kazakhstan the National Program on Fighting the AIDS epidemic has been effective in providing antiretroviral therapy to 60 percent of those in need. .

"The International AIDS Society welcomes the strong commitment of the governments across Eastern Europe and Central Asia to tackling HIV," said Craig McClure, Executive Director, International AIDS Society. "Throughout the region many countries are in a state of economic and social transition. The evidence clearly shows that these conditions can increase vulnerability to HIV and it is therefore timely for governments to step up their commitment to the AIDS response."

The conference will examine how current momentum can be sustained in the context of an expected decline in external funding, as well as the effects that this may have on the efforts of governments and NGOs, who have pioneered many life-saving initiatives, often with the help of external funding.

The Changing Face of HIV in the Region

EECAAC II will also explore three current trends in the epidemic's spread that have significant and new implications for the region:

-- The feminization of the epidemic: the epidemic is affecting a greater

number of women. In 2006, women accounted for about 40 percent of

reported new cases.

-- Young people are bearing the brunt of the epidemic: in a region already

facing demographic challenges, more than 75 percent of people living

with HI
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SOURCE Eastern Europe and Central Asia AIDS Conference
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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