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New project: Community Led and Based HIV Services - Key to Ending the HIV Epidemic in Europe and Central Asia

Community-based voluntary counselling and testing services (CBVCT) have proven to be one of the most effective tools in reaching key populations and providing access to testing for HIV, TB, hepatitis, and STI, especially in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the availability of self-tests for HIV created an option for people who might otherwise avoid testing services due to multiple reasons, including stigma and discrimination. However, numerous barriers standing in the way of provision or scaling up of CBVCTs and HIV self-tests still exist in many countries. These barriers include lack of funding, legal and policy barriers imposed by the governments, and high prices for testing kits, including self-tests.  Taking these hurdles into account, AIDS Action Europe (AAE), Centre for Epidemiological Studies of Sexually Transmitted Disease and AIDS in Catalonia (CEEISCAT), and the Milanese unit of the Italian League for Fighting AIDS (LILA Milano) have joined forces in the framework of the COBATEST Network to apply to the “Zeroing In - Ending the HIV Epidemic” call for grants by Gilead. We have received funding for the project "Community Led and Based HIV Services - Key to Ending the HIV Epidemic in Europe and Central Asia".  Within the project: AIDS Action Europe will assess legal and policy barriers to CBVCT services and HIV self-testing in the countries of the COBATEST Network. The assessment will result in a legal report and a policy brief with recommendations, as well as providing support in the form of a small grant for 6 member organisations from the countries with the most challenging legal environments. CEEISCAT will support the COBATEST network members with data collection, analysis, and reporting by developing a new online scheduling and follow-up tool.  LILA Milano will implement  a pilot campaign providing and delivering free self-tests for HIV across Italy. The campaign is hoped to raise awareness and increase the acceptability of HIV self-testing among communities, thus becoming a positive example for other countries.   The findings of the project will be presented in a series of webinars starting in 2023: 1. Advocacy for the provision of CBVCT services and HIV self-testing. 2. Using the COBATEST data collection tool. 3. Good practice exchange: lessons learnt from the Italian campaign on HIV self-testing. With this project, we aim to increase, adapt, and improve community-based testing services for HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, and other sexually transmitted infections, and to promote the rollout of self-tests in Europe and Central Asia, focusing on those populations where diagnosis and linkage to care are lower than the national average. The project goes in line with the Global AIDS Strategy 2021-2026. “End Inequalities. End AIDS”: Progress in recent years demonstrates the essential role of community-led HIV responses in global efforts to end AIDS. Communities have led efforts to identify and address key inequalities; expanded the evidence base for action to end AIDS as a public health threat…  (Global AIDS Strategy 2021-2026. “End Inequalities. End AIDS”)  

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Call for Tenders - Consultant on Harm Reduction Services for ChemSex Users

AIDS Action Europe is currently looking for a Consultant on Harm Reduction Services for ChemSex Users.  The consultant will be responsible to develop a Training Manual for Harm Reduction Services on Adapting Their Services for ChemSex Users, in close cooperation with the AAE. Please send your tenders with the subject "Consultant on Harm Reduction Services for ChemSex Users" to Deutsche Aidshilfe…
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New project: Community Led and Based HIV Services - Key to Ending the HIV Epidemic in Europe and Central Asia

Community-based voluntary counselling and testing services (CBVCT) have proven to be one of the most effective tools in reaching key populations and providing access to testing for HIV, TB, hepatitis, and STI, especially in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the availability of self-tests for HIV created an option for people who might otherwise avoid testing services due to multiple…
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RAPID ASSESSMENT ON PRE-EXPOSURE PROHYLAXIS (PrEP) IN EU/EEA COUNTRIES

AIDS Action Europe is conducting a rapid assessment on the availability, accessibility, affordability, and acceptability of PrEP in the EU/EEA countries as part of our activities in our core thematic areas of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), affordability, and addressing legal and policy barriers to HIV services. Based on the information provided, we are publishing a report on…
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Call for Tenders - NGO Governance Expert

AIDS Action Europe is currently looking for an NGO governance expert consultant to conduct specific tasks within the governance review of the AAE network. The consultant will be responsible for undertaking desk research to produce an overview of NGO election procedures of similar regional networks and facilitate the development of an election system for the AAE Steering Committee in close…
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Call for Tenders. Legal Expert consultancy for the AIDS Action Europe project: Community Led and Based HIV Services - Key to Ending the HIV Epidemic in Europe and Central Asia

AIDS Action Europe is currently looking for a legal expert consultant to conduct specific tasks within the project Community Led and Based HIV Services - Key to Ending the HIV Epidemic in Europe and Central Asia "Zeroing In - Ending the HIV Epidemic" – on legal and policy barriers of Community Based Voluntarily Counselling and Testing and uptake of Self-testing. The tasks:  The consultant will…
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Support. Don't Punish. Global Day of Action 2022

This year, on June 26, the Global Day of Action of Support Don’t Punish Campaign marks its 10 year anniversary. The Campaign marks 10 years of resource mobilisation on the way of tackling the inhuman“war on drugs” and 10 years of progress towards human rights, health, science, and harm reduction based drug policies. As AIDS Action Europe, we join the “Support Don’t Punish” Campaign and recognize…
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European HIV Legal Forum: Website Launch

We are happy to finally present to you the website of the European HIV Legal Forum (EHLF), the project of AIDS Action Europe!  EHLF is focused on benchmarking the legal situation in countries of the WHO European Region with regard to various topics concerning people living with HIV and other key populations. The pilot project was released in 2012, and to this day EHLF covers the following…
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AAE is looking for a Programme Assistant

AIDS Action Europe is looking for a Programme Assistant to join our team earliest from 1 August. The position opens an opportunity to work in the biggest HIV/Aids related network which brings together experience of 400 civil society actors from Europe and Central Asia.   Your tasks include Supporting of the overall AIDS Action Europe Programme implementation, including administrative support…
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AIDS Action Europe is looking for a Project Manager

AIDS Action Europe is looking for a Project Manager to join our team earliest from 1 July. The position is full time and opens an opportunity to work in the biggest HIV/Aids related network which brings together experience of 400 civil society actors from Europe and Central Asia. Areas of responsibility application, implementation and reporting of projects of the network at European level;…
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AIDS Action Europe Stands in Solidarity with Ukraine

It has been more than a month since the Russian Federation’s ongoing invasion against Ukraine. AIDS Action Europe expresses its full support and solidarity with our friends and colleagues, their families and loved ones, our member and partner organizations from Ukraine, as well as the people of Ukraine in general. We also wish to express our admiration and support to the voices coming from…
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Call to Action from the UNAIDS PCB NGO Delegation and International Civil Society and Community Organizations on the War in Ukraine and Its Impacts on People Living With HIV and Key Populations

On February 24, the Russian Federation started an unprovoked war against Ukraine. Since then, the whole world has borne witness to the humanitarian catastrophe that has followed this invasion. Russian aggression has led to thousands of civilian casualties, while an estimated 18 million people are affected by the conflict, and the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance has increased…
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EU governments and EU institutions must implement measures to ensure continuity of HIV and opioid dependency treatment for people from Ukraine displaced by the war

AIDS Action Europe together with other NGOs working with and representing the interests of communities of people living with and affected by HIV, tuberculosis, viral hepatitis and drug dependence in Central and Eastern European countries, wrote a letter to EU governments and EU institutions. In this letter, we stress the urgency of ensuring continuity of essential life-saving treatments for…
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Access to HIV, TB, Hepatitis, OST and Hormone Replacement Therapy: Information for Ukrainian Refugees and People in Ukraine

AIDS Action Europe provides on this page information about various initiatives aimed to support Ukrainian refugees and people in Ukraine in the field of antiretroviral therapy, treatment for tuberculosis and viral hepatitis, hormonal therapy, opioid substitution therapy as well as resources for  key populations. Service #HelpNow. Non-governmental Ukrainian, regional and international…
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National response to HIV in North Macedonia is threatened by major budget cuts

AIDS Action Europe (AAE)  together with the European AIDS Treatment Group (EATG) reached out to the government of North Macedonia to ask it to reverse the decision to cut the HIV budget allocation. The initiative is in support of the HIV Platform consisting of 14 civil society and community-based organisations working in the field of HIV prevention and support among key affected populations…
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Statement on pharmaceutical industry and the non-transparency of pricing

Access to and affordability of medication and diagnostics is one of the core thematic areas for AIDS Action Europe. In our work, we focus on capacity building of patient activists on the current systems of research and development, approval of drugs and diagnostics, the nontransparent pricing procedures, and most importantly, providing examples of solutions to bring prices of medicines down, as…
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New HA-REACT Publication on Reducing Drug-Related Harms

The aim of this document is to show an approach based on the opportunities that harm reduction offers to people who use drugs, to the community and to society. It is part of the HA-REACT Joint Action on HIV and Co-infection Prevention and Harm Reduction. "This booklet is an approach to drug harm reduction: policies and interventions aimed at reducing drug-related harm for people who use drugs. …
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Brochure release: What is Harm Reduction for PWUD?

Harm reduction consists of policies, programmes and practices that reduce the negative health, social and economic effects of drug use. This brochure explains how it can benefit people who use drugs, as well as their families and communities. Download the brochure at https://bit.ly/2RZUvRl Many people are not able or willing to stop their drug use. Harm reduction acknowledges that people…
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New training tools on harm reduction available online

HA-REACT has recently developed new online tools to train staff in low-threshold settings on HIV and HCV testing and linking to needed care, on opioid substitution treatment and condom distribution program in prison settings, on prison needle and syringe programmes and harm reduction. New training courses are: HIV and HCV rapid testing in low threshold settings for PWUD in English Opioid…
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"We need trained pharmacists, governmental and social workers to improve integrated care in HU"

The NGO INDIT Foundation, based in Pécs, is one of the few organisations, which is providing harm reduction services for people who use drugs (PWUD) in Hungary. The foundation maintains facilities providing medical care services and social support, such as the “Drug Clinic” with outpatient care or opioid substitution therapy (OST), and testing and counselling; and the so-called “Alcohology”,…
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Naloxone saves lives – hands-on toolkit for policy makers and practitioners

For prisoners with a history of drug use, in particular opioid use, the risks related to drug use, in particular overdose and death are extremely high in the immediate period after release from prison, due to high rates of relapse and lower opioid tolerance. Much still needs to be done in order to ensure that people with a history of drug use are sufficiently cared for, when released from prisons…
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HA-REACT Joint Action as platform for new initiatives

The National Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Addiction (Národní monitorovací středisko pro drogy a závislosti - NMS), the Czech partner of the Joint Action on HIV and Co-infection Prevention and Harm Reduction (HA-REACT), is participating in and adopting cross-sectional activities on harm reduction in the Czech Republic. Viktor Mravcik, the head of NMS, and his colleagues, Tereza Cernikova and…
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New Leaflet about Joint Action on HIV and Co-infection Prevention and Harm Reduction (HA-REACT)

This new  leaflet describes the three-year project, which was launched in late 2015 with core funding from the European Union (EU), and is being implemented by 22 partners representing 18 EU Member States. The overall aim of HA-REACT is to significantly contribute to the elimination of HIV and to reduce TB and viral hepatitis among PWID in the European Union by 2020. This objective is aligned…
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New e-learning portal on harm reduction

HARMREDUCTION.EU is a brand new e-learning & knowledge hub for professionals in charge of health in prison/upon release, criminal justice/health/social service workers both in prison and in the community and drug users themselves, in Europe and in other regions of the world. All of the website content, including  the e-learning courses, the "toolbox" and other sections (case studies, reports…
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Interview with Anna Sarang on foreign agent law in Russia

«We are totally left without any financial or moral support to fight not only the epidemic, but also a government, which sabotages the health protection of their citizens». We already wrote earlier about the so-called “foreign agents law” in Russia and its enforcement on HIV service organizations. This time we talked to Anna Sarang, director of the Andrey Rylkov foundation, our member…
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HA-REACT blog series

The European Joint Action HA-REACT's work is currently being featured in an ongoing series on the BioMed Central “On Health” blog and the Hepatology, Medicine and Policy (HMAP) blog. The first batch of posts sets out the vision of the Joint Action, our work in prisons, and a Polish perspective on collaboration. Also new interviews on sustainable & long-term funding for HIV, TB and HCV and  …
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Continuity and Innovation - Towards a more effective response to HIV 2015-2017

The AAE Steering Committee has defined an overall strategy and clear agenda spanning 2015–2017 "Continuity and Innovation - Towards a more effective response to HIV". Through this, we will strengthen our response to the epidemic, maintain our commitments and provide a framework in which we can prioritise our actions. It is AAE’s duty to keep HIV/AIDS and co-infections as priorities on EU,…
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Thank you Lella & Tamás - Welcome on board, Sini!

AIDS Action Europe would like to welcome and introduce to you our new AAE Steering Committee Member: Sini Pasanen. Sini is from Finland and she will replace Lella Cosmaro as the new co-chair of the HIV/AIDS Civil Society Forum. Furthermore, AAE would like to thank Lella Cosmaro and Tamás Bereczky for chairing the Civil Society Forum. Thank you Lella and Tamás Lella has been a chair for the last…
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AIDS Action Europe, the gateway to the European Commission and EU policies

This interview with Anke van Dam, the Chair of AIDS Action Europe (AAE) and the executive director of AIDS Foundation East-West (AFEW), is about the main objectives of AAE for the next years, the achievements AAE has already gained and the regional challenges and differences in the region it works in. In addition Anke points out why a strong advocacy to UN and international donors is needed. What…

EU Civil Society calls on EC to ensure improving EU-Eastern Partnership Policy Framework on HIV/AIDS, TB and viral Hepatitis

European Civil Society Organisations that work in the field of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and viral Hepatitis called on Mr President of European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, to ensure that the EC immediately starts working on a comprehensive EU-Eastern Partnership Policy Framework, which will pave the way for HIV, Tuberculosis and viral Hepatitis elimination in both the EU and the Eastern…
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AAE at the AIDSImpact 2015 in Amsterdam

The AIDS Impact Conference is an international behavioural and psychosocial science conference that addresses issues related to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care. The Conference took place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, from July 28 to 31, 2015. AIDS Action Europe not only used the opportunity to disseminate information materials at the CHAFEA stand but also was invited to co-host the…

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