Statement ECUO Co-Chairs in the International Zero Discrimination Day


The Team of “East Europe and Central Asia Union of People Living with HIV” encourages to support the campaign #ChaseTheVirusNotPeople on #ZeroDiscrimination day.

We, People living with HIV, highlight the importance of elimination of all kinds of stigma and discrimination against key populations and people living with HIV. Discrimination is the key barrier to an effective response to the HIV / AIDS epidemics and reducing mortality in EECA.

The campaign “Chase the Virus, Not People!” aims to consolidate the efforts of regional community networks, organizations and activists to draw the attention of governments of the region and the world community to the problems of key populations against the backdrop of a catastrophic situation with the HIV / AIDS epidemic in the EECA region.

ECUO have attracted the attention of international society to such catastrophic situation of the spreading of HIV/AIDS 9 years ago in 2010 at the World AIDS Conference, held in Vienna. Where we conducted comprehensive informational campaign “We are dying less, but we are dying faster!” to attract the attention of world leaders to the difficult situation with access to treatment and the growing HIV / AIDS epidemic in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Since then, 9 years have already passed, and so far EECA remains the only region in the world where the epidemic continues to actively progress: the number of new HIV infections is growing rapidly, and the AIDS related mortality is increasing. At the same time, Eastern Europe and Central Asia have been continuing to be the “first” region from the last in the rank of accessing to antiretroviral therapy.

Today, in countries of the EECA region, only one-third of people living with HIV receive life-saving antiretroviral treatment, more than a million HIV-positive people still do not have access to vital ARV treatment.

Despite all the investments, the epidemic in the region continues to grow rapidly in key populations, because of discriminatory legislation, its application and stigmatization – the access to services is very limited. Without changings in discriminatory legislation, it is impossible to achieve the goals 90-90-90 in the region. We insist on the elimination of discriminatory legal barriers, as it`s a guarantee of the effectiveness and sustainability of HIV programs in the EECA region.

We, as a regional community of patients, believe that the use of high-quality, modern ARV treatment is extremely important for the respect of the basic human rights on health.

We call – upon the World Health Organization (WHO), as a uniting platform that brings together all countries of the WHO European Region at the same table – to promote the unification of HIV treatment approaches that will regulate the use of an unified and common approach to HIV / AIDS treatment programs in all countries of the WHO European Region.

Don’t be silent, share this statement, support the people and campaign “Chase the Virus, Not People!” on Zero Discrimination Day! 

All the details, how to support the campaign “Сhase the Virus, not People!” on “Zero Discrimination Day” by the link – http://chasevirus.org/zero-discrimination/   

Stay with us! #ChaseTheVirusNotPeople, #ZeroDiscrimination

ECUO Co-Chair Vladimir Zhovtyak (Ukraine)
ECUO CO-Chair Wojciech Tomczynsky (Poland)