Lella Cosmaro is a Steering Committee (SC) Member of AIDS Action Europe (AAE) and co-Chair of the European Civil Society Forum (CSF) on HIV/AIDS. In this interview she talks about her HIV-related work, the next plans of the SC and why it is important for civil society to work on dialogues with politicians and decision-makers.
What are the goals of the Steering Committee and how do you plan to reach them?
he SC spends a lot of time and energy in meetings and discussions to set the goals for the network and to present them in the official documents, like for instance in the new Strategic Framework 2015-2017.We achieve goals by transforming them into concrete actions and activities and by monitoring the process along the way. Yes, we do already have a pretty good idea of the issues we will focus on during the next SC meeting which will take place in Riga in April 2015. One of the highlights of the meeting will be the possibility to meet some of the Latvian authorities and institutions and discuss HIV related issues with them. We are looking forward to this important event which will take place during the Latvian Presidency Semester.
HIV and LGBT NGOs and other concerned actors accross Europe call for futher action on pre-exposure prophylaxis: Europe needs the HIV prevention pill now!
Two studies of PrEP were presented at the Conference for Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle, USA, they demonstrated unprecedentedly high levels of effectiveness.
“In both of these studies, PrEP stopped 86% of the HIV infections that would otherwise have happened in the gay men who took it”, said Brian West, Chair of EATG.
“But they also demonstrated that the rate of HIV infection in the particular populations these studies served was even higher than we had feared. In this situation, it becomes a moral and political imperative to offer PrEP to those who might need it, and to raise awareness of it as a possible HIV prevention method within those communities” said Bruno Spire, President of AIDES.