On April 20-21 the AIDS Action Europe (AAE) Steering Committee (SC) members had their first meeting of the year to discuss the new Strategic Framework and its actions, the Work Plan 2015, the review of AAE’s Communication Strategy and the Civil Society Forum Agenda for July 2015.
In the afternoon of the second day, AAE met Latvian civil society representatives and other stakeholders at the European Union House in Riga for a Round Table discussion on the “DUBLIN DECLARATION AND LATVIA’S RESPONSIBILITY FOR HIV/AIDS". The Round Table was organised by the association AGIHAS. RAKUS HIV clinic (LIC) chief executive staff, its chief doctors, local media representatives, and a representative from the Ministry of Health, the Baltic HIV Association, the Cross-Sectoral Coordination Centre of Latvia and Society Association HIV.LV took the opportunity to express their views on the realisation of the declaration in Latvia. Main focus of the discussion was the foreseen change of the national HIV guidelines in Latvia and the affordability and sustainability of HIV, and health care and treatment in general.
The general consensus was that the previous policies of the government of Latvia have failed in its commitments to the Dublin Declaration and greatly contributed to Latvia being at the forefront of HIV/AIDS rates in EU, and that, unless aggressive and tangible actions commenced, the HIV/AIDS infection level might become Incorrigible in the country.
[UPDATE:] After the meeting the Chair of the Steering Committee of AIDS Action Europe Anke van Dam sent a letter to the Latvian Cabinet of Ministers to express the concerns of AIDS Action Europe regarding the ongoing policies and the lack of political will in the response to HIV and AIDS in Latvia. With this letter, AAE joins and expresses support of the call of Latvian Civil Society Groups to follow international guidelines on treatment and prevention.