Dushanbe, Tajikistan – On December 3-5, USAID and the Central Asian Association of People Living with HIV (CAA PLHIV) convened the Second Regional Forum of People Living with HIV to support and strengthen the capacity of national organizations in Central Asia. In order to stop the spread of HIV in Central Asia, we must increase public awareness of the disease and challenge the stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV.
The Forum promotes dialogue and exchange among organizations about efforts to prevent and reduce stigma and discrimination; prioritizes inter-regional cooperation with PLHIV networks; improves the availability of information on HIV prevention and PLHIV support programs; and develops partnerships and cooperation among government and civil society organizations that work with HIV.
The results of the region’s first “Stigma Index” study were announced and participants discussed UNAIDS’ 90-90-90 objective, an ambitious treatment target to help end the AIDS epidemic through increased access to treatment and prevention services. By 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status; 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy; and 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.
Representatives from Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, including the Ministries of Health, the Secretariat of the National Coordinating Mechanism, the Committee on Women and Family Affairs, the Republican AIDS Center, the United Nations agencies, and the AIDS Foundation East-West are participating in the forum.