Sunday

15th Dec 2019

Stakeholder

Ending HIV/AIDS: A tale of two Europes

  • Gilead Sciences and the Elton John AIDS Foundation have partnered to create RADIAN, a ground-breaking initiative which aims to bridge the gap in the fight against AIDS and HIV (Photo: Elton John AIDS Foundation)

Prevalence rates of HIV/AIDS in large parts of Europe continue to fall as the global community finally has the tools to meaningfully address new HIV infections.

Western Europe has seen significant improvements in diagnosis rates and an overall decrease in new infection rates. (1) However in eastern Europe and central Asia (EECA), the annual rate of HIV infections continues to rise. Deaths from AIDS-related illnesses in this region have increased 300 percent in the last two decades. (2)

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

World AIDS Day (Sunday 1 December) is both a time to celebrate the advancements across Western Europe and a time for decisive action to address disparities in HIV care in EECA to ensure no one is left behind in the global effort to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

To address challenges in the region, Gilead Sciences and the Elton John AIDS Foundation have partnered to create RADIAN, a ground-breaking initiative which aims to bridge the gap in the fight against AIDS and HIV.

"It is unacceptable that every day more than 400 people become infected with HIV, and 100 die from AIDS-related illnesses in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Both the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Gilead Sciences have previously worked together in the region and there is still an urgent need to drastically expand our efforts," said Anne Aslett, chief executive officer, Elton John AIDS Foundation.

"Through focused investment in local partners, this initiative leverages our understanding of the EECA community from previous projects and will drive forward our shared ambition to end the HIV epidemic."

RADIAN is made up of two elements, the RADIAN "Model Cities" programme will invest in targeted interventions by local organisations in key EECA cities and the RADIAN "Unmet Need" fund will support local initiatives across the region and beyond the selected RADIAN Model Cities.

Through a multi-pronged effort, RADIAN can direct resources to communities in need that are immediately ready to scale interventions through targeted funding, while simultaneously building capacity in others.

Over the next five years, the best practices and learnings from the local implementation of RADIAN will be used as a blueprint towards helping change the trajectory of HIV across the region.

One of the biggest challenges the programme faces is addressing stigma around HIV/AIDS in EECA. Stigma remains one of the single most important reasons people living with HIV do not access care.

HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects people from disadvantaged populations – those who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, sex workers, people who inject drugs and their sexual partners – and they often face discrimination due to stigma.

"It is time to implement solutions to see real change," said Anne Aslett. "We encourage local and regional organisations across EECA, who share our vision of significantly improving the quality of care for people living with HIV and AIDS, to help us achieve zero new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths by 2030."

1) World Health Organization 2018. HIV/AIDS surveillance in Europe 2018 - 2017 data. Available here. [Accessed November 2019].

2) UNAIDS (2019). UNAIDS Data 2019. Available here. [Accessed November 2019].

For further information on the RADIAN programme or to apply for funding please click.

Job bag: IHQ-HIV-2019-11-0019

Date of Preparation: November 2019

Author bio

Alex Kalomparis is vice-president of public affairs for Australia, Canada and Europe at Gilead Sciences.

Disclaimer

This article is sponsored by a third party. All opinions in this article reflect the views of the author and not of EUobserver.

Focus

Anti-HIV measures failing in EU, says WHO

Rates of infection have stayed constant for a decade in the EU, though there has been a massive surge in Russia apparently caused by drug users sharing needles.

Opinion

Romania risks HIV epidemic

Romania's ministry of health stands accused of abandoning those who are suffering from the HIV virus, as the "anti retroviral" medical supplies that have been keeping them alive for many years are about to run out, writes Rupert Wolfe Murray, a drugs rehabilitation expert.

Brussels welcomes Nordic culture

Brussels will play host to more than 400 Nordic artists and creative practitioners this autumn, organised by one of Europe's most influential cultural institutions, BOZAR.

News in Brief

  1. EU Scream podcast wins media award
  2. Sturgeon will set out Scottish independence plan next week
  3. Slovenia, Croatia ex-leaders highlight jailed Catalans
  4. Italian court tells Facebook to reopen fascist party's account
  5. EU extends sanctions on Russia until mid-2020
  6. UK exit poll gives Johnson majority of 86
  7. Orban: 'financial guarantees' to reach climate neutrality
  8. Merkel hopes EU leaders agree 2050 climate-neutrality

Brussels welcomes Nordic culture

Brussels will play host to more than 400 Nordic artists and creative practitioners this autumn, organised by one of Europe's most influential cultural institutions, BOZAR.

Stakeholders' Views

This EUobserver section provides a platform for EU stakeholders to communicate positions, views and activities.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  5. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture

Latest News

  1. EU values face scrutiny This WEEK
  2. EU sighs relief after 'decisive' Johnson victory in UK
  3. Huge win for Conservatives in UK election
  4. Behind bars: a visit to an imprisoned Catalan politician
  5. Leaders agree 2050 climate neutrality - without Poland
  6. EU leaders cagey on 'Future of Europe' conference
  7. Pressure mounts to grill Malta's Muscat at EU summit
  8. Revealed: little evidence to justify internal border checks

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  2. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  3. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  5. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  6. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us