On February 3, 2017 in Dushanbe, the Central Asian Association of People Living with HIV (CAA PLHIV) and the non-governmental organization SPIN Plus organized a round table on “Response to stigma and discrimination of PLHIV for the period 2017-2020”.
The purpose of the roundtable is to discuss the draft of the National Response to Stigma and Discrimination Related to HIV and to People Living with HIV in the Republic of Tajikistan.
Within the framework of the round table, the results of the research conducted by the Central Asian Agency for PLHA for the first time in three countries of Central Asia, including Tajikistan, the “Stigma Index” research, were presented last year. It was conducted by the community of PLWH with the participation of international experts. The results of the study showed that the level of stigma and self-stigma among HIV-positive people in the region remains high. The stigma and discrimination of PLHIV continue to be one of the significant barriers to universal access to treatment and care services. The problem of stigmatization and discrimination of PLWH partners and the nearest social environment, as well as on the part of medical institutions deserves serious attention. Special support is required by people who live with HIV for less than 4 years. The greatest stigma and discrimination are experienced by PLHIV – former and current injecting drug users and people with non-traditional gender identities.
“The stigma and discrimination of PLHIV today not only violate the fundamental human rights foundations, they are also factors in the spread of HIV infection and the main barriers to access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, as well as to any medical, social, legal and other services. Eliminating the phenomena of stigma and discrimination is the key task of the strategy “In the Goal of the Goal” Zero “, – the President of the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan, Nurali Amanzholov, believes.
– “Stigma and lack of awareness about HIV prevention and treatment cause discrimination. Because of this, hundreds and thousands of people suffer. Our task, as representatives of the community, which are engaged in providing access to prevention and treatment, is to convey to the public, and especially to young people, the importance and significance of their participation in the health of the nation, “said Pulod Djamolov, executive director of SPIN Plus NGO.
As a result of the event, a working group was set up to prepare the final document of the National Strategy and a plan of response against stigma and discrimination for the entire period of the National Program on HIV in 2017-2020.
At the roundtable, representatives of the Ministry of Health and Social Development, communities, public organizations, employees of state bodies and international organizations were invited.