Today on December 1st the world celebrates World AIDS Day. This year’s global theme is “Global solidarity, shared responsibility” – a reminder that “no one is safe until everyone is safe” with a call to care more for those in need. In 2020, the clients of HIV programs have been strongly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Together with community-led NGOs, UNDP is supporting the Republican AIDS Center’s efforts to continue providing the best response to HIV during the Covid-19 epidemic. Activities have been adapted to the new needs and obstacles created by the pandemic, in order to ensure continued access to healthcare and protection for key populations.
Covid-19 has made vulnerable groups even more vulnerable. Because of the new pandemic, the danger it represents for people with a weak immune system, the unprecedented burden on hospitals and health care workers and the many restrictions put in place to limit the spread of the disease, key population groups and people living with HIV have been facing many additional difficulties in the past months, including challenges in access to health services, unemployment, homelessness, stigma and discrimination.
UNDP Kyrgyzstan and its partners have made a lot of efforts to guarantee the non-interruption of HIV prevention, diagnostic and treatment services and help get people living with HIV quality antiretroviral therapy to restore their immune system and save their lives.
To this regard, UNDP, under its “Effective HIV and TB Control in the Kyrgyz Republic project”, funded by the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, has introduced a series of new activities in its HIV response: mobile brigades, bringing medical services to patients’ homes; online consultants, who provide remote medical, social and psychological support to clients; assisted self-testing for key population groups; food support to clients in need; and shelters for people living with HIV. These activities add up to UNDP’s ongoing HIV response program in a demanding time for the healthcare system.
On the occasion of World AIDS Day, UNDP is supporting many events together with the Republican AIDS Center, international and local partners to raise awareness on HIV. Covid-19 has shown that with unity and with partnership we can reach the Sustainable Development Goal 3: good health and well-being.