Remember & Act - It's in Your Power: stories of confronting the COVID-19 pandemic and HIV / AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
To commemorate the World Remembrance Day of AIDS Victims, the Alliance for Public Health, the UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and the Central Asian Association of PLHIV presented a regional online initiative Remember&Act – it’s in your power about working together and saving lives.
The World Remembrance Day for AIDS Victims, celebrated on May 17 this year, is taking place in the context of the ongoing pandemic of the new coronavirus COVID-19. On this day, the world recalls those who lost their lives due to AIDS, so that today we can take action and ensure safety, health and life.
Activists and civil society organizations of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region in times of emergency and outbreak of the new virus continue their work to provide vital services related to HIV infection, universally support those who are in difficult situations, which once again confirms their key role in saving the lives and health of people.
Vera Brezhneva, UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for EECA, in her speech on the occasion of the World Remembrance Day for AIDS Victims thanked the activists for continuing their activities in today’s difficult conditions. She said: “Thank you very much from all of us, to each of you, to remember and act is in our power. I am with you!”.
As part of the initiative, an interactive online map http://act.inyourpower.life was created, which gathers a chronicle of the participation of communities and organizations working in HIV/AIDS confronting coronavirus. These are field stories about services and practices that community organizations in all countries of the region provide. These are examples of how services are being built and developed for key populations and people living with HIV, and the invaluable impact they have on HIV. It is very simple to tell your story and add to the card – just fill in the Share the story field on the site.
The experience of the EECA region in confronting COVID-19 showed that investments in civil society were not in vain. “Communities and nongovernmental organizations have not only come to the forefront of the fight against the new threat, but also in collaboration with doctors and the government continued to address the provision of HIV and TB services,” said Andriy Klepikov, Executive Director of the Alliance for Public Health.
Nurali Amanzholov, Executive Director of the Central Asian Association of PLHIV, said that many people were confused, that there were difficulties with ART, OST and other medications provision, many lost their source of income. “But this situation was also an exam, a test for the strength of our community. And his strength was always in solidarity, the ability to assert human rights, to seek for the right solution together!”
Liubov Vorontsova, Central Asian Association of PLHIV, Director of #SoS_project in Kazakhstan, said that women living with HIV and representatives of key populations faced increased domestic and gender-based violence, limited access to protection and social services due to the closure of crisis centers. She emphasized: “We must unite, so that after the abolition of the state of emergency, the needs of women remain a priority for the state and civil society!”
People from 19 countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the Baltic states and the Balkans shared their experience in countering COVID-19 vs AIDS: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Estonia.
These are stories about how service sustainability was created for people from key populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Nearly 40 years of experience in the fight against HIV has shown that civil society organizations, communities of people living with HIV play a crucial role in countering the epidemic. Today it has become quite clear that the role of community organizations in emergency situations is growing many times. States in our region must recognize these organizations as their main partner and provider of services for both HIV and COVID-19 counteraction,” said Alexander Goliusov, Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at UNAIDS.
In a special live stream in social networks, the initiative was presented by:
- Vera Brezhneva, UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for EECA
- Andriy Klepikov, Executive Director of the Alliance for Public Health
- Alexander Goliusov, Regional Director for EECA at UNAIDS
- Nurali Amanzholov, Executive Director of the Central Asian Association of PLHIV
- Lyubov Vorontsova, Director of #SoS_project in Kazakhstan
There will be online flash mob with presentation of stories under hashtags #rememberitsinyourpower #actitsinyourpower. Anyone can join a flash mob and share their experience in supporting people during a state of emergency.
Initiators: Alliance for Public Health, UNAIDS, Central Asian Association of PLHIV (CAPLA).
Funded by: #SoS_project, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Support in Central Asia: #ЛидерЛЖВ, USAID
#вТвоихСилах #InYourPower #candlelightmemorial2020 #ВОДНОЙЛОДКЕ #СПРАВИМСЯТОЛЬКОВМЕСТЕ #covid19