Catalina García works on information and education to eliminate HIV stigma

The conference, on the theme of eradicating HIV-related stigma and discrimination in order to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.3 in the EU by 2030 within a global health framework, was attended by close to 140 peoplefrom All areas working on HIV in the EU (EU), EU Member States, international organizations such as the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the World Health Organization (WHO/Euro) and UNAIDS; national, regional and municipal governments, scientific associations, non-profit organizations and civil society.

The conference began with a first session on the political response of EU Member States to eliminate HIV-related stigma and discrimination, in which spanish health ministerJose Manuel Miñones and hungarian health ministerPeter Takacs and other representatives of international and European organizations mayor of sevilleJosé Luis Sanz; this minister of healthSylvia Carlsson; this director of public healthPilar Aparicio; and General Manager of the Ministry of Public Health and Drug Regulation of Andalusia, Jorge del diego.

Andalusian consultant regrets that “Despite tremendous advances in prevention and treatment, people living with HIV still face the additional burden of stigma and discrimination”. To this end, he argued, “we are faced with these negative and prejudicial attitudes that arise from a lack of information, a fear of the unknown, and an insistence on the unknown”. baseless myth About HIV transmission, “Society as a whole must respond.”

So, Garcia chose public health promotionbecause “in order to control the spread of HIV, it is critical that people trust health services to conduct testing”; used to generate a healthy environment People living with HIV do not have to live in fear, of course, in order to ” education and awareness Eliminate attitudes and prejudices about what HIV is.

The health and consumer affairs chief also added Promote equality and human rights“because every person, regardless of their serological status, deserves to be treated with dignity and respect”; and prevention: “We must work together, and my department is committed to this, so that society remembers that HIV and its consequences are still very much alive.”

Last year, 560 cases were detected in Andalusia, 250 people have registered in the first half of 2023. During both periods, approximately 85% of those affected were men and 15% women. «There are still many cases, so we have to Go deeper into prevention and health promotion efforts”, underlined.

However, Garcia explains that Andalusia is The first autonomous region to achieve the 90-90-90 goals set by UNAIDS in 2021 (90% of people living with HIV are diagnosed, 90% are on antiretroviral therapy, and 90% have suppressed viral loads). “The Andalusian HIV Cascade is a tool that monitors the HIV epidemic and is used to evaluate the policies adopted to stem the epidemic and to monitor whether the set goals are achieved, and we are the first autonomous community to publish these results. We We’ve also done this by population subtypes,” he said before declaring, “We’re working on Achieve the 95-95-95 goal soon«.

The consultants concluded: “Society as a whole faces challenges in the form of stigma and discrimination. Not only does this stigma perpetuate ignorance and misinformation; Make it difficult for people to seek diagnosis and appropriate treatment«. For this reason, after remembering «HIV does not discriminatewithout distinction of gender, race, sexual orientation or social class,” insisting that “each of us has a role to play in building a society free of HIV stigma and discrimination. Together we can change the lives of many and move towards a more inclusive and healthy future for all«.

In itself, Jorge Del Diego Hosted a session on “Addressing HIV-related stigma and discrimination in health care settings” with Viatcheslav Grankov of WHO/European Organization and attended by officials from the Global Program to Combat HIV, Hepatitis and Infections. /Euro and the European AIDS Clinical Society (EACS).

Likewise, Director of the Coordination Department of the General Administration of Public Health and Drug Supervision, Teresa Camposchaired a round table with the same title, attended by representatives from the Medical University of Pomerania (Poland); from the Medical Research Center of the University of Hamburg-Eppendorf (Germany); GAT from Portugal/Coalition Plus; Spanish Trans Disciplinary AIDS Society (SEISIDA); research group GeSIDA from the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC) and the Fast Track Urban Project.

The high-level European meeting in Seville comes a year after the Andalucian capital hosted the event Fast Track City Conferenceis a network of more than 380 cities and municipalities from signatories to the Paris Declaration that promotes responses to HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and viral hepatitis. They are also involved in efforts to eradicate inequality, social marginalization and stigma as part of a wider social transformation agenda to make cities and municipalities inclusive, resilient and sustainable.

Participation in the high-level meeting on “HIV and Human Rights: Zero Stigma” held in Seville during the Spanish Presidency of the Council of Europe

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