Radian – a new fund to meaningfully address new HIV infections

To address the challenges in EECA and ensure no one is left behind in the global effort to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Gilead Sciences have partnered together in a ground-breaking initiative called RADIAN. RADIAN aims to meaningfully address new HIV infections and deaths from AIDS related illnesses in EECA through focussed action, investment and resourcing to improve the quality of prevention and care for people at risk of or living with HIV in the region.

The RADIAN ‘Unmet Need’ fund will support local initiatives across the EECA region. Initiatives selected will focus on prevention and care, education, community empowerment, and novel partnerships. The programme will be implemented locally, working with key stakeholders and partners.

The grant will support two grant types:

  • Breaking barriers: Innovating healthcare delivery
  • Building bridges: Community involvement and education

The Fund is welcoming concept notes for evidence-informed solutions implementing in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, or Uzbekistan. The Fund welcomes concept notes for multi-country projects.

The projects should last under 36 months. Applications are accepted until 15 December 2019. Projects are expected to start from July 2020.

More about the grant is available following this link >>>

Too bad politics and prejudice keep getting in the way

Photo: Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images

DPNSEE Board member Marios Atzemis contributed to the article

“We know how to end AIDS”, published by Politico

Greece was never known for the quality of its health system. But in 2009, at least among drug users, HIV was not a major threat – just 15 were diagnosed with the virus that year.

Then came the financial crisis and the harsh austerity that followed. In 2011, another 256 drug users learned they had HIV. In 2012, the number was 484. The reason for the explosion: the Greek financial crisis and the harsh austerity measures that followed.

Marios Atzemis was one of the Greek drug users diagnosed with HIV in 2011. He had been addicted to heroin and a regular in Athens’ open-air drug markets well before the crisis. Then in 2010, street services to help drug users stay safe lost a third of their funding. Atzemis stopped seeing the vans that used to distribute fresh syringes, even as new users were entering the scene, shooting newer, cheaper drugs.

As a community of drug users, we didn’t have an effective means of defense,” said Atzemis, now a harm-reduction coordinator with the Association of People Living with HIV Greece Positive Voice) “It was very easy for us to be targeted and to be scapegoats.”

The doctor refused to put him on anti-AIDS antiretroviral medication until he got clean at a rehab clinic – even though the clinic was on the brink of being shut down for lack of funding.

For Atzemis, now 44, this was enough motivation to wean himself off the drugs. “It didn’t work the same for other people,” he said.

For better or worse, Greece shows that a country doesn’t need to fix its entire health system to deal with HIV. As a case in point, its progress on AIDS hasn’t translated into progress on correlated problems like hepatitis C. Those rates rose during the debt crisis and haven’t ebbed much; based on 2017 data, around 62 percent of drug users in Greece have tested positive for hepatitis C.

The crisis-era HIV outbreak marked “the first time that all the stakeholders – NGOs, state structures, every single one – worked together to face this epidemic,” said Atzemis. “And probably the last time.”

To read full article, follow this link>>>

Global Fund Replenishment Conference FAQ

The Global Fund Replenishment Conference that takes place every 3 years. The aim of the conference is to raise funds and mobilize partners in the fight to end AIDS, TB and malaria.

The sixth Replenishment conference will take place on October 10 in Lyon, France at Palais des congrès de Lyon. This is the first time France (the second largest donor to the Fund) is playing host.

The target for the Sixth Replenishment Conference is to collect 14 billion USD over the next 3 years. This is an ambitious target, but the funds would save 16 million lives and prevent 234 million new infections between 2021 and 2023.

If you want to know more, read the FAQ webpage created by RED following this link>>>.

Medicines Shortage Survey

The EU Civil Society Forum on HIV, TB and Hep working group on access to medicines is inviting you to contribute to a short survey on medicines shortages for the treatment of hepatitis B&C, HIV, TB and OST in 2019. The deadline for contribution is 27 June 23:59 CET.

The data collected and summarized will be used in a meeting with the European Commission with other civil society partners on 1 July 2019 to back a request for an investigation into the causes of shortages in order to improve understanding of the situations and possible solutions.

The survey is not limited to EU countries.

Please, fill in the survey here>>>

People before politics

Ahead of the 26th Harm Reduction International conference, Harm Reduction International has launched a Call to Action on harm reduction funding and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria 6th replenishment.

Funding and political support for harm reduction is in crisis in many countries around the world. Harm reduction is evidence-based, cost effective and has a positive impact on individual and community health. While harm reduction is far broader than HIV prevention, this call to action centres on galvanising urgent action to secure a strong 6th replenishment of the Global Fund, in recognition of the significant impact of HIV and TB on people who use drugs.

The Global Fund aims to raise at least US$14 billion at its 6th replenishment, which will be invested from 2020-22. We believe that more funding is required and support the call of the Global Fund Advocates Network (GFAN) for a replenishment of $18 billion. This will enable the Global Fund to step up the fight to end HIV, TB and malaria, and we urge Global Fund donors to be ambitious in their pledges. A strong and fully-funded Global Fund is vital to the harm reduction response and to delivering on government commitments to end AIDS by 2030.

The Call is on

  • Governments, philanthropic donors and the private sector to step up and fully fund the Global Fund, to make ambitious pledges to ensure the US$18 billion target is reached.
  • Governments to put “People before politics” and ensure that people who use drugs are not left behind in the fight to end AIDS by 2030
  • The Global Fund Board to safeguard catalytic investment funds, regardless of replenishment outcome, in order to sustain life-saving services for people who inject drugs and to incentivise domestic investment in harm reduction.

You can read the Call to Action following this link>>>

You can add your organisation’s name to this call to action via the form here>>>

You can share the Call to Action with your networks/other organisations and on social media, using this tweet