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Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We would like to thank you for your cooperation and support in this incredible year and would like to wish you happy upcoming holidays, and a fruitful 2019!

This year was marked by the U = U campaign that became an important tool to talk about stigma and discrimination, mental health and quality of life of people living with HIV. The Swiss Statement, which stated that people living with HIV on effective treatment cannot sexually transmit HIV, was published 10 years ago in 2008. The Undetectable = Untransmittable campaign building on this and further scientific evidence is advocating for the rights of PLHIV to access accurate and meaningful information about their sexual and reproductive health and life and became a highlight of the AIDS 2018 conference, 

With this newsletter with would like to take the opportunity to wish you happy winter holidays and share important moments from our work in 2018. 

We wish you all the best and we look forward to working with you in the next wonderful year!

Best wishes,
AIDS Action Europe Steering Committee and the Executive Office
AIDS Action Europe Member and Partner Meeting took place on Saturday, October 20, in Berlin. This year the AAE Steering Committee decided to focus on 2 topics of concern for civil society organisations working in the field: good practices and gaps in addressing women in harm reduction and the role of international networks in response to HIV/AIDS, TB and viral hepatitis. 
AIDS Action Europe attended the 22nd International AIDS Conference which took place in July in Amsterdam. Read our review on the conference here
Additionally AAE together with the European AIDS Treatment Group co-organised the European Civil Society Forum booth 618 in the Global Village. Read more about the work of the booth here.

AIDS Action Europe is part of Joint Action on HIV and Co-infection Prevention and Harm Reduction HA-REACT which is approaching its finish in January 2019. Learn more about the joint action, materials on the website HAREACT
For the last three years our project manager, Ferenc Bagyinszky did an inspiring work by representing Europe at the NGO Delegation to the UNAIDS PCB. We would like to thank Ferenc for all his efforts and wish the new delegation productive and successful work at representing civil society at the UNAIDS.

We would also like to draw your attention to the first statement of the new delegation composition regarding the report of the Independent Expert Panel on abuse of power including sexual harassment within the UNAIDS.

The AAE Steering Committiee has identified six core thematic areas that shape our work for 2018-2021. Below you will find the highlights of our work within each core thematic area in 2018. If you want to learn more about our scope of work for the period of 2018-2021, read our Strategic Framework which you can find here.
1. Community based volunary counselling and testing
As part of our core thematic area on CBVCT, AIDS Action Europe launched its report and advocacy tool “CBVCT Services - Current obstacles and opportunities”. AAE would like to thank LILA Milano, and especially Lella Cosmaro, for combining and writing this tool. 

Also, AAE started the collaboration with the Cobatest Network. You can read more on this and about the kick off meeting here.

2. Affordability and accessibility to medication
As part of the core thematic area on affordability, in 2018 AAE decided to move into the field of training the trainers in order to duplicate the knowledge and expertise in a more efficient way and conducted 2 trainings for trainers for participants from 10 countries.

For this purporse the manual on affordability was updated and  completed with additional chapter on methodology of trainings of this kind. Read the updated manual here.

3. Tackling legal barriers in the response to HIV, TB and hepatitis and 4. Criminalisation of HIV non-disclosure, exposure and transmission

Within the framework of these two core thematic areas the European HIV Legal Forum, a project of AIDS Action Europe, continued it work and launched 2 projects focusing on monitoring and benchmarking legislation relevant to HIV and co-infections in order to advocate for policy changes.
  1. One of the projects is on HIV-criminalisation will also contribute to the work of HIV Justice Network, where AIDS Action Europe is part of the Steering Committee.
  2. The other project is on access to HIV and co-infection services for people in prison and other closed settings.  
Learn more about previous rounds of the European HIV Legal Forum here.

5. Sexual and reproductive health and rights

This year we focused our work on quality assurement in combination prevenation and CHEMSEX interventions by developing an implementation guide of Quality Action Tools (qualityaction.eu). The document, which will be soon available on our website,os the basis of our webinars on Quality Assurement in HIV Prevention. Stay tuned and be part of it. More details available soon on our website.

6. Tackling stigma and discimination
This core thematic are is reflected as a cross sectional theme in all our projects, advocay activities and communication.

The European AIDS Action Network was established in 2004, has continued to develop and has become one of the largest networks working in the field of HIV infection in the region. The network goes far beyond the borders of the European Union and covers all 53 countries in Europe and Central Asia.