A summary of the 2010 progress report on Implementing the Dublin Declaration on Partnership to Fight HIV/AIDS in Europe and Central Asia was released by ECDC at the occasion of the World Aids Conference on 20 July 2010. This report documents progress using country-based reports against a selected number of indicators of relevance to the countries of the region. The report is based on data from 49 countries and reflects the contributions of a wide range of individuals and organisations. The full report is expected to be published by ECDC in September 2010.
A number of specific conclusions for each thematic area are identified, as well as conclusions that cut across a number of thematic areas. Below are just some examples of the identified conclusions:
- There is evidence of strong political commitment for the response to HIV in European and central Asian countries.
- In times of economic downturn strong political commitment and strategy is needed for ensuring sustainability of future financing for AIDS assistance. Since the adoption of the Dublin Declaration in 2004, there has been an increase in disbursement from donor countries as international AIDS assistance. These increased from $2.8 billion in 2004 to $7.7 billion in 2008.
- Strong political leadership is needed to ensure that evidence-based policies and programmes are developed and implemented and laws, regulations and policies that present obstacles to effective prevention, treatment, care and support for key populations affected by HIV (e.g. injecting drug users, men who have sex with men, migrants from countries with generalised epidemics, and prisoners) are removed. Focusing on key populations affected by HIV would result in a more effective HIV response and efficiency savings, i.e. services being delivered at a lower overall cost.
- Although there is an increase in the number of PLHIV receiving ART in some countries of the region since 2004 there is also evidence that rates of late diagnosis of HIV infection remain unacceptably high with many PLHIV presenting with CD4 counts < 350 cells/mm3 at the time of diagnosis. This is a significant issue because these people are starting treatment later than medically advised. Evidence shows that late diagnosis leading to later introduction of treatment results in higher rates of AIDS-related morbidity and mortality.
- The role of civil society in responses to HIV is recognised across countries of Europe and central Asia. Civil society organisations are involved in strategic planning processes in many countries of the region, and civil society considers that the environment in which they operate improved between 2005 and 2007. However, civil society organisations still face considerable challenges in ensuring sustainable funding for their activities.
- Although the value of international reporting on HIV responses is recognised in the countries of Europe and central Asia, there are strong aspirations from countries that the reporting burden must be reduced by streamlining the current multiple processes into one. ECDC is working to introduce a single data collection process which could satisfy all current international reporting requirements, e.g. monitoring the UNGASS and Dublin Declarations, monitoring the progress towards achieving universal access in the health sector and monitoring the EU Action Plan to combat HIV/AIDS in the EU and Neighbouring countries.