We cannot go on as if it was business as usual
The situation in the Eastern European and Central Asian Countries remains dramatic. There is no curbing of the epidemic in sight. Extraordinary action in funding and policy change is necessary if the international goals have only a remote chance to be reached.
The official quintessence of the 6th Eastern Europe and Central Asia AIDS Conference taking place on April 18-20, 2018 in Moscow would probably sound different. But this is what it comes down to if you listen to the people working on the ground: There is no way that the 90-90-90 targets will be reached by 2020; leaving no one behind and zero discrimination are a lip service in this region more than in any other region of the world.
Despite all efforts invested so far, this region is in a state of emergency when it comes to HIV, TB and viral hepatitis that needs special attention. And state of emergency is exactly what the Global Fund was created for. This region has an on-growing problem with HIV and TB, two of the three diseases the Global Fund is attending to and we need to reopen the discussion with the Global Fund. Michel Kazatchkine, special advisor to UNAIDS for HIV, tuberculosis and hepatitis C, made this very clear during a side meeting of the conference on GO and NGO collaboration, initiated among other NGOs by AIDS Action Europe. Why can we not enter into this discourse of emergency rather than the discourse of integrating HIV into the sustainable development goals (SDG). This is specifically needed because this state of crisis is caused to a huge extent by wrong policies. And that is where NGOs and the need to fund their policy and advocacy work come in: NGOs have a huge responsibility in moving policies back into the right direction. To bring back the discourse of emergency can actually support the work of the Global Fund and other international organisations in this region.