Regional consultation on "Migration and HIV infection in countries of the Eurasian Economic Union"


On May 18, the regional consultation on "Migration and HIV infection in countries of the Eurasian Economic Union" organized by the "AIDS infoshare" foundation, National Center for AIDS Prevention with the support of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia, Rospotrebnadzor and the Embassy of Russian Federation in Armenia launched in the National Center for AIDS Prevention.

Representatives of the ministries of health,  centers and services for prevention and fight against AIDS, migration services, UNAIDS, International Federation of the Red Cross and Armenian Red Cross Society from Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Armenia (about 50 participants) are participating in the consultation.

The aim of the regional consultation is to increase efficiency and control over HIV infection and co infections through inter-agency coordination and improvement of the cooperation between countries.

During the 2 days of the consultation the participants will assess the impact of migration factor on the epidemiological situation of HIV infection and co infections in EEC countries, the current situation on inter-agency coordination and cooperation between EEC countries on the issues of control over HIV infection and co infections, the perspectives of providing antiretroviral treatment to labor migrants in EEC host countries, the role of international donor organizations in arranging the control over HIV infection and co infections, also will present their countries' experiences on control over HIV infection and co infections.

Opening remarks were delivered by the Deputy Minister of Health of Armenia. In his speech he mentioned that the regional consultation is extremely important. Though HIV epidemic in EEC countries develops with a similar scenario, however, it has specificities in different countries and each country implements its comprehensive measures to the epidemic response.

Despite the close relationships between the countries, the factors of labor migration and its impact on the spread of HIV infection in the region, a single epidemiological area, interrelationships and interactions of the epidemiological processeses, the disjointed operations of the countries considerably reduce the effectiveness of HIV response.

Whereas the concerted and coordinated efforts of the countries will enable to significally increase the effectiveness of HIV response, make it more controllable and predictable in EEC countires, which in its turn will reduce new cases of HIV infection and HIV-caused mortality in EEC countries.

The regional director of UNAIDS Vinay Saldanha highlighted the importance of the regional consultation, presented the main problems that labor migrants face in host countries, and stressed, in particular, the access to HIV prevention and treatment services, movement restrictions, that still exist in some countries in the region.

It's expected that a work plan on HIV control in the countries of EEC region will be developed as an outcome of the regional consultation.