From July 22nd till July 27th the XX International conference on HIV|AIDS “Tuning the tide together” was held in Washington DC, USA. Around 20 thousands specialists in the field of HIV/AIDS epidemic from all over the world gathered at this conference – political leaders, PLWH and activists among them. This conference was a good possibility to estimate the current situation with epidemic, to discuss the latest scientific researches on this topic and practical experience as long as to define the action plan for the future.On the one hand conference program was dedicated to discussion on recent scientific researches; on the other hand it was a unique opportunity to launch a dialog on the most urgent issues of global response to the epidemic. During the conference multiformated sessions were held such as thesis sessions and symposiums, which linked together interdisciplinary sessions and plenary sessions. At the same time other program actions such as Global Village, satellite meetings, exhibitions and other helped to improve delegates’ professional skills and broadened their list of contacts.To AIDS 2012 Ukraine sent around 50 people including representatives of the East Europe and Central Asia Union of PLWH and the All Ukrainian Network of PLWH. Governmental sector was represented with Ministry of Health of Ukraine, Ukrainian center of HIV |AIDS prevention, Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine etc.Advocacy campaign on decreasing prices for viral hepatitis medicines, which are used in regimens of HIV-positive patients was conducted during the conference. To demonstrate more vividly the problem of unreasonably high prices for medicines, activists served the table with raw liver and the petition to companies, medicines manufacturers about the urgent need to decrease prices to cover patients from the waiting list with crucial treatment. About 3 thousand people took part in the action. Two regional news channels covered the activities of the regional networking zone of East Europe and Central Asia (EECA) countries.ECUO participated in meetings-dialogues with Hanno Pevkur, Estonian Minister of Social Affairs and Michel Kazachkine, the UN Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
At the conference, the All-Ukrainian Network of PLWH participated with the concept «IN DONORS WE TRUST”. Ukrainian activists handed out 100-dollar bills on the backside of which people could find information about services that HIV-positive person can receive for this amount of money:
- Take ART for 100 days
- 8 tests for CD4 count
- 2 tests for viral load
- 1 prevention course of vertical transmission
- 4 months of artificial feeding for a child born by HIV-positive mother
Thus, the attention of conference participants was focused on the fact that simple piece of paper worth 100 dollars it’s a unit of exchange for human life.
Additionally, within frameworks of the Ukrainian Day, an exhibition at the Networking Zone featuring life-size figures of people (man, woman, child), who receive services (with the list of services attached) was set up. Everyone could receive a letter from a woman, man and child from Ukraine at the feet of these figures. Letters described very humanely life stories of Ukrainian PLWH – their dreams, their wishes, their prospects and their current situation.
Two movies created by the All-Ukrainian Network of PLWH debuted in the Global Village.