A working meeting of the #SoS 2.0 project partners in the Balkans took place on 29 March 2023 in Tirana, Albania.
More than 70 participants from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia and Serbia as well as Switzerland and Ukraine came together to discuss the outcomes of the 2022 project and plans for 2023.
Discussions at the meeting focussed on continuity planning of health services, piloting pre-exposure prophylaxis and self-testing, price reduction for ART, sustainability of HIV services, implementation of Fast-Track Cities initiative, human rights in context of response to human rights violations and cases of discrimination documented through REAct.
“Countries in the region have clearly identified their interest and need to implement and further scale up pre-exposure prophylaxis. The experiences of individual countries, such as Northern Macedonia, serve as a good example for others to pilot, establish an appropriate regulatory framework and ensure the sustainability of PrEP from the national budget. – said Dr Sergiy Filippovych, Director of #SoS 2.0 at the Alliance for Public Health. – However, the high cost of ARVs remains an issue in the region and there is a need to further introduce cost-saving measures. Such as: optimisation of treatment regimens, creation of a competitive market and the use of international agencies for procurement. It is also important to address the issue of patent protection and collective bargaining with manufacturers.”
Thank you to our partners in South East Europe for their cooperation and leadership in the implementation of activities to achieve sustainability of HIV services: South Eastern Europe Regional TB and HIV Community Network, Partnerstvo za zdravlje / Partnerships in Health, CAZAS, TOC, Zaedno posilni, Albanian Network of People living with HIV, and special thanks to the partners for collaborations on sustainability pathways – The Global Fund, UNAIDS Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Ministry of Health and Social Protection, UKC Tuzla, Montenegro CCM Secretariat.