Bishkek, 1 December 2021 - Today the world celebrates World AIDS Day under the slogan “End inequalities, end AIDS, end pandemics”. This day is intended to highlight the urgency to do more for HIV prevention, treatment and care. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been working together with the Global Fund to fights AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria since 2011, making a considerable contribution to the national HIV control program. During this period, UNDP has been supporting the state through the procurement of drugs and health products for HIV prevention and treatment, laboratory equipment, tests and consumables, rapid tests and other equipment, and has been closely working with NGOs around the country to effectively prevent and treat HIV among key population groups.
“The UNDP / Global Fund has been a reliable and responsive partner of the AIDS Center for decades. Together, we are implementing preventive programs among key populations. In addition, the purchase of ARV drugs is regulated,” says Umut Chokmorova, Director of the Republican AIDS Center.
Deepened inequalities and redoubled efforts
The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened inequality and worsened the situation for communities in Kyrgyzstan affected by HIV. The triple economic, social and health crises have been especially hard on people living with HIV and key population groups, who have become more vulnerable than ever to illness, poverty, isolation, discrimination and rights violations. COVID-19 has also greatly challenged the health care system, as a result of which HIV diagnosis dropped.
But this year has also seen redoubled efforts and many innovations.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Global Fund grant was reformatted to ensure unhindered access to rapid testing and drugs for people living with HIV and key populations,” adds Umut Chokmorova.
UNDP and the Global Fund supported the Government and civil organizations with many innovative interventions for communities in need: In addition to traditional activities (including shelters and food support), innovative solutions were developed, such as the introduction of mobile brigades, the provision of online consultations, self-testing, and the launch of a mobile application developed together with UNAIDS and the Partnership Network. These joint HIV services are people-centered, with communities engaged and empowered and human rights placed in the fore.
“Too often, illnesses like AIDS, tuberculosis, and COVID-19 fall on the shoulders of the most vulnerable. It is time to decrease inequalities and make communities resilient to pandemics and crises,” says Ms. Louise Chamberlain, Resident Representative of the UNDP in the Kyrgyz Republic.
“The national slogan for this World AIDS Day: ‘Your Health, Your Rights, Your Responsibility’ emphasizes that everyone has an equal right to health care. But in the first instance, we are responsible for our own health, for avoiding risk related behaviors, for getting timely tested and treated when needed. It is only with greater solidarity and responsibility that we will be able to end inequalities and pandemics and reach Sustainable Development Goal 3: good health and wellbeing for all.”
The UNDP and its partners are devoted to reducing the medical, social, financial and legal inequalities suffered by key populations, enabling their access to the tools they need to successfully fight HIV.
On the occasion of World AIDS Day, the UNDP is supporting many events around the country together with the Republican AIDS Center, other UN agencies, international and local partners to raise awareness on HIV prevention.
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