Fight against HIV/AIDS: launch of enhanced Action plan in EU and neighbouring countries for 2014-2016
The European Commission put forward an Action Plan on HIV/AIDS which prolongs and extends existing EU action in this area, building on the achievements of the Action Plan 2009-2013.
The new Action Plan places a greater focus on keeping HIV/AIDS high on the political agenda, tackling HIV-related stigma and discrimination and achieving better access to voluntary testing. Actions on HIV prevention and awareness-raising to tackle risk behaviour, as well as early treatment and care, remain priorities, as are prevention strategies and measures that focus on priority groups, such as men who have sex with men, migrants, and injecting drug users.
Tonio Borg, European Commissioner for Health, underlined: "Today's Action Plan shows that the fight against HIV/Aids remains a priority for EU health policy. We need to address the worrying increase of HIV/AIDs in some parts of the EU. To do this, we must reach out to the citizens who are most at risk, fight all forms of discrimination, and foster access to diagnosis and treatment. I am fully committed to this cause and call on all actors – health authorities, NGOs, international organisations – to join us in putting this plan in action".
Other needs identified in the Action Plan are targeted support to additional populations at risk - e.g. prisoners and sex workers, improved cooperation with Eastern European Member States and neighbouring countries, and addressing co-morbidities such as Tuberculosis and Hepatitis. Civil society organisations will continue to play a crucial role in implementing the prolonged action plan alongside Member States, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNAIDS, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).
Look for more information on EC policy on HIV/AIDS here.