Overcoming legal barriers for key populations – on the way to 90-90-90

EECA is the only region in the world where annual rate of HIV infections continues to rise at a concerning rate. The region is long way from reaching the 90-90-90 targets, with 72% [64–81%] of people living with HIV knowing their HIV status, 53% [45–56%] of people who knew their HIV status receiving treatment, and 77% [67–81%] of people receiving treatment having suppressed viral loads. New infections continue to outpace ART enrolment. The region’s epidemic is concentrated predominantly among key affected populations. Due to stigma, repressive, discriminatory and criminalizing legislation and practice of their application most vulnerable key populations – people who use drugs, sex workers, MSM – avoid getting into view of health services and often fall into the view of law enforcement agencies, where instead of help and readdress to medical services they get punishment and arrests. Most vulnerable groups often lack information about their HIV status. All these barriers hinder an effective response to the epidemic and are key factors that lead to an increase in new HIV/AIDS infections and mortality and prevent EECA countries from achieving 90-90-90 at all stages of the continuum of HIV care.

The project aim is to improve the effectiveness of HIV continuum of care by overcoming legal barriers for the most vulnerable key populations on the EECA city level.

Objective 1: To build capacity of paralegals and supporting legal experts in selected EECA cities to address legal barriers in the access of key populations to HIV continuum of care.

Objective 2: To provide legal assistance to people from vulnerable populations to overcome legal barriers to get access to HIV continuum of care.

Objective 3: To address cases of systemic legal barriers to decrease stigma, discrimination and criminalization and ultimately to decrease vulnerability of key populations to HIV and improve their access to HIV continuum of care.

Project: “Overcoming legal barriers for key populations – on the way to 90-90-90”

Countries of implementation: Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova

Project timeline: October 1, 2020 – September 30, 2022

Overall budget: 729,975 USD

Project donor: Elton John AIDS Foundation

Contacts: info@harmreductioneurasia.org

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