Round-table discussion titled HIV Prevention, Care and Support in the Scope of Right to Health Protection took place on September 27, 2019. The meeting was organized by New Generation Humanitarian NGO and For Strong Future NGO with the financial support of Elton John AIDS Foundation and Eurasian Coalition on Male Health from the funds of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Representatives of diplomatic missions, international and local organizations, RA ministries, advocates, lawyers, human right defenders, activists and community representatives attended the meeting.
Mr. Sergey Gabrielyan, president of New Generation Humanitarian NGO launched the meeting with an opening speech particularly emphasizing that the organization attaches great importance to implementation of HIV prevention programs in Armenia and actively advocates for ensuring their continuation.
Then representatives of diplomatic missions and international institutions made welcoming speeches. Mr. Shombi Sharp, UN Resident Coordinator for the Republic of Armenia stated that it was a great honor to be present at such a meeting, to see so many friends and familiar faces. He concluded his speech with the point that HIV prevention is not only a healthcare issue but it is also related to fundamental human rights, stable development and education level.
Ms. Hasmik Harutyunyan, the Global Fund Program Coordination Team Manager of the Ministry of Health of Armenia, made a welcoming speech on behalf of the ministry and stressed that they attach great importance to cooperation between the government sector and civil society without whom it is impossible to the ambitious goals of the Programs on the Response to HIV.
Mr. Vitaly Djuma, executive director of Eurasian Coalition on Male Health also made a welcoming speech at the meeting․ He was happy to state that in the region Armenia was in a considerably better situation regarding HIV prevalence as compared to Georgia for instance. Mr. Djuma was also pleased to see all stakeholder bodies: representatives of diplomatic missions, state bodies, representatives of key populations and NGOs dealing with their issues at the meeting. He concluded his speech with the following thought: “Together we are strong, nobody can do it alone.”
After the welcoming speeches, the guest speakers talked about HIV Prevention projects implemented in Armenia with the financial support of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and Elton John AIDS foundation, the work of CCM in Armenia, importance of inclusion of community representatives and community-based organizations in decision making processes, ways of cooperation and challenges in the field of HIV prevention, HIV prevention state grant projects within the framework of transition plan implementation of the projects financed by Global Fund, opportunities and threats, stigma and discrimination in the field of healthcare.
During the discussion, Cascade Analysis of HIV-related services implemented within the Right to Health project was also presented. The report on the analysis is still in the stage of development and will be presented and discussed with stakeholders again after its finalization. The meeting discussion also included the presentation of the Review of National Legislation Regulating funding sources of NGOs made within Right to Health project and the comprehensive report developed within the project of For Community from Community.
During the discussions of the work of CCM in Armenia, Mr. Sviatoslav Sheremet, member of ECOM steering committee mentioned that the voice of the community shall be heard in person and directly from the community in the decision making processes. This will not only provide an opportunity for the community to present their issues in person but also for the decision makers to hear these issues firsthand from the community.
Other healthcare and legislative issues in the field were also discussed during the meeting.
The participants of the meeting agreed to collect all the issues, solutions and recommendations voiced and discussed at the meeting and to present them to all stakeholder bodies.
The media campaign Chase the Stigma Not People with the national slogan of the campaign: Make the Community Voice Heard also took place within the round table discussion. The guests and participants of the meeting had a chance to express their solidarity to the campaign by having photos next to the banner of the campaign. The guests who joined the campaign received symbolic presents with the logo and slogan of the campaign.
You can see and download photo HERE