The campaign organizers consider its key goal achieved
In 2018, the first time ever in the history of the fight with HIV, all regional networks representing key populations communities of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region had joined forces in one “Chase the virus, not people!” campaign, united by same aim and goals, one unified slogan and ready to stand and speak out loud together, defending the rights of each community, of all and everyone, attracting the attention of governments, international organizations, multilaterals, donors and public at large to stigma, discrimination and criminalization which communities in the region have been facing since HIV epidemic start.
In the course of campaign implementation, it accumulated efforts of more than a thousand EECA civil society and community activists and volunteers, delivered its messages to over two million direct recipients and recruited a variety of partners and organizations outside of public health sphere to the army of campaign supporters.
In three years that have passed since campaign’s launch at AIDS2018 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, the campaign organizers consider its key goal achieved, which is reflected in prioritizing removing human rights barriers and aiming to decriminalize key affected populations and PLHIV in all key global and regional HIV/AIDS strategies.
First of all it is reflected in Global AIDS Strategy 2021-2026 adopted by PCB UNAIDS in March 2021. The strongest ever strategy aims to support effective HIV response based on human rigts, gender equality, principle of non-discrimination and effort to support key populations. In particular it introduces a new “10-10-10” strategy, whereby less than 10% of countries have punitive legal and policy environments that lead to the denial or limitation of access to services; less than 10% of people living with HIV and key populations experience stigma and discrimination; and less than 10% of women, girls, people living with HIV and key populations experience gender-based inequalities and all forms of gender-based violence.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria strategy „Fighting Pandemics and Building a Healthier and More Equitable World (2023-2028)” adopted by the GF Board in November 2021, states: „The Strategy reiterates and reinforces the imperative to maximize health equity, gender equality and human rights by deepening the integration of these dimensions into our HTM interventions, including through expanding the use of data to identify and respond to inequities, scaling up comprehensive programs to remove human rights and gender-related barriers, and leveraging the Global Fund’s voice to challenge harmful laws, policies and practices”.
The adoption of these Strategies has become possible due to advocacy efforts of many partners and actors across the globe, including civil society and community leaders from EECA, the voice of whom has been heard not in the last turn due to Chase the virus, not people! campaign.