The Global Fund Board approved transition funding for Kosovo

During the 47th Global Fund Board meeting held from 10 –12 May 2022 in Geneva, the Board discussed and approved changes to the Global Fund’s Eligibility Policy and approved the allocation methodology for the 2023-2025 allocation period. The Global Fund’s Eligibility Policy spells out three main criteria the organization uses to determine countries’ eligibility to receive an allocation for one or more disease components – HIV, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria. The three determinants are:

  • Countries with the highest disease burden.
  • Those with the least economic capacity.
  • Where key and vulnerable populations are disproportionately affected by the three diseases.

The Board approved changes to the Eligibility Policy on the first two of the main determinants: disease burden and income category.

Based on the changes to the Eligibility Policy, upper-middle-income countries are eligible for Global Fund malaria investments if there is documentation of artemisinin resistance and/or partner resistance to malaria drugs. Also, regardless of the disease burden UMI countries are eligible if they are small states but are not islands that qualify for International Development Association support.

The Board also approved the Strategy Committee and the Secretariat’s proposal to extend the eligibility of six components (grants) for the additional allocation of Transition Funding for the 2023-2025 allocation period.  The six components are Armenia HIV, Guatemala TB and malaria, Guyana malaria, and Kosovo HIV and TB. The extension will allow the financing of important transition activities that are essential to support the countries’ move away from a reliance on Global Fund financing.

More information on the approved changes to the Eligibility Policy and 2023-2025 allocation methodology you may find following this link>>>.


Protection and continuity of health and HIV services in Ukraine

From the UNAID statement

Amidst the ongoing military offensive against Ukraine, The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) is calling for the protection of health workers and uninterrupted continuation of HIV and health services for all people, including people living with and affected by HIV. Ukraine has the second largest AIDS epidemic in the region. It is estimated that there are 250 000 people living with HIV in Ukraine, 156 000 of whom are on antiretroviral therapy, medication that needs to be taken daily for people to remain alive and well.

People living with HIV in Ukraine only have a few weeks of antiretroviral therapy remaining with them, and without continuous access their lives are at risk,” said Winnie Byanyima, UNAIDS Executive Director. “The hundreds of thousands of people living with and affected by HIV in Ukraine must have unbroken access to life-saving HIV services, including HIV prevention, testing and treatment.”

To date, the Government of Ukraine, together with civil society and international organizations, has implemented one of the largest and most effective HIV responses in Eastern Europe and central Asia. However, with the ongoing military offensive, the efforts and gains made in responding to HIV are in serious risk of being reversed, putting even more lives in danger.

The right to health and access to HIV services must always be protected, and health workers, representatives of civil society and their clients must never be targets in a conflict. The ongoing military conflict has affected everyone in Ukraine but is likely to be particularly hard for people living with HIV and key populations, including people who use drugs, sex workers, gay men and other men who have sex with men and transgender people.

As highlighted by the United Nations Secretary-General, the United Nations is committed to support people in Ukraine, who have already suffered from “so much death, destruction and displacement” from the military offensive, in their time of need.

With the support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and UNAIDS, the Government of Ukraine and civil society partners have delivered HIV prevention and treatment services for people living with HIV and key populations across Ukraine for many years and stand ready to give further support during the ongoing crisis.

UNAIDS staff remain on the ground in Ukraine, working to ensure that people living with HIV and key populations in Ukraine have continued access to life-saving services, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable civilians. UNAIDS will continue to support HIV prevention, testing, treatment, care and support for people across Ukraine affected by the crisis.


Montenegro: Benchmarking sustainability of the HIV response among Key Populations in the context of transition from Global Fund support to domestic funding

The Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) published document “Benchmarking sustainability of the HIV response among Key Populations in the context of transition from Global Fund support to domestic funding” within the framework of the regional project ‘Sustainability of Services for Key Populations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia’. This publication was prepared by Mr. Vladan Golubović, EHRA Consultant

The aim of this analysis is to assess the fulfillment of the commitments given by the Government of Montenegro aimed to ensure the sustainability of the HIV response among KPs in the context of the country’s transition from Global Fund support to national funding. The results of the assessment are expected to be used to assist CSO’s, key affected communities and partners to remain more informed and engaged in the monitoring of the transition process from donor to domestic funding and to thereby advocate for the implementation of activities that will lead to the sustainability of the national HIV response.

This assessment was conducted using the Methodological Guide and Transition Monitoring Tool (TMT) developed by EHRA. A number of national commitments contributing to ensuring sustainability of the HIV response were identified and prioritised and subsequently analysed based on available data, as well as information from key informants. The assessment was conducted and led by two national reviewers with the support of local HIV experts and representatives of affected communities from organisations involved in advocacy and service delivery for KAPs and PLHIV (the national reference group).

The analysis is available following this link>>>.


Plans for the elimination of HIV, viral hepatitis and STIs

From the WHO European Region website

The WHO European Region has made some progress towards the goals outlined in the regional action plans for the health sector response to HIV and viral hepatitis. However, the Region is not on track to end the HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infection (STI) epidemics. Following on from the end of the previous action plans for health sector response to HIV and viral hepatitis, the WHO Regional Office for Europe is in the process of developing the 2022–2030 action plans for the elimination of HIV, viral hepatitis and STIs in the WHO European Region. For the first time these plans will be presented in a single document to promote a unified vision built around integrated, people-centred care within a health system approach focused on universal health care.

In June 2021 a virtual regional consultation was conducted on the global health sector strategies in this regard. At this meeting the foundational principles and approach to the plans were endorsed.

Subsequently, on 16 and 17 November 2021 WHO/Europe conducted a technical expert consultation with a range of stakeholders to provide technical feedback on the country targets as well as WHO and partner agency actions.

From these earlier consultations a revised full draft of the new 2022–2030 regional action plans has been made available for reference and feedback. Feedback can be provided via email to, with copy to Nicole Seguy ( and Rachel Katterl (, or via the PleaseReview platform, access to which will be granted to officially delegated focal points from health authorities in the respective Member States.

Key future dates:

  • 27 January 2022 – Broad online consultation opens for the 2022–2030 action plans for the elimination of HIV, viral hepatitis and STIs in the WHO European Region;
  • 3 February 2022 – Virtual regional consultation for reviewing the draft 2022–2030 action plans for ending the HIV, viral hepatitis and STI epidemics in the WHO European Region;
  • 10 May 2022 – Penultimate drafts of the action plans and associated documents presented to the 29th Standing Committee of the Regional Committee; and
  • 12 September 2022 – Final action plans and associated documents presented to the 72nd session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe.

The 2022–2030 action plans for the elimination of HIV, viral hepatitis and STIs in the WHO European Region are available (in English and Russian) following this link>>>.


Grants Program “Gender and HIV”

Eurasian Key Populations Coalition (EKPC) is pleased to announce an open Request for Proposals (RfP) for 2021 Grants Program “GENDER and HIV” in framework of the #SoS_project.

Through this RfP2021, EKPC invites proposals from EECA countries (Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan) and SEE countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia), countries based civil society organizations scaling up access to gender oriented, sensitive and/or transformative HIV prevention, treatment, care and support and assuring that resources are mobilized and utilized appropriately to respond gender gap in HIV epidemic.

The goal of this year’s EKPC Grants Program is to contribute to improved health, inclusion and social wellbeing for TG in EECA and SEE. To reach this goal, EKPC provides funding to strengthen the institutional and advocacy capacity of civil society and their alias. The regional networks and national organizations, which meet the definitions and criteria set by this RfP2021 are invited to apply for a grant for up to 5 months duration.

The deadline for submission of proposals is 28 May 2021 at 12:00 (noon) CET.

For more details and application procedure follow this link>>>.


New global AIDS strategy

From the UNAIDS press release

The UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) has adopted by consensus a new Global AIDS Strategy 2021–2026 to get every country and every community on track to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. The strategy was adopted by the PCB during a special session, chaired by the Minister of Health of Namibia, held on 24 and 25 March 2021.

The Global AIDS Strategy 2021–2026, End Inequalities, End AIDS, uses an inequalities lens to close the gaps preventing progress to end AIDS and sets out bold new targets and polices to be reached by 2025 to propel new energy and commitment to ending AIDS. The UNAIDS Secretariat and its 11 Cosponsors worked to develop the new strategy, which received inputs from more than 10 000 stakeholders from 160 countries.

The strategy puts people at the centre and aims to unite all countries, communities and partners across and beyond the HIV response to take prioritized action to transform health and life outcomes for people living with and affected by HIV. The three strategic priorities are to:

  1. Maximize equitable and equal access to comprehensive people-centred HIV services;
  2. Break down legal and societal barriers to achieving HIV outcomes; and
  3. Fully resource and sustain HIV responses and integrate them into systems for health, social protection and humanitarian settings.

If the targets and commitments in the strategy are achieved, the number of people who newly acquire HIV will decrease from 1.7 million in 2019 to less than 370 000 by 2025 and the number of people dying from AIDS-related illnesses will decrease from 690 000 in 2019 to less than 250 000 in 2025. The goal of eliminating new HIV infections among children will see the number of new HIV infections drop from 150 000 in 2019 to less than 22 000 in 2025.

HIV prevention for key and priority populations receives unprecedented urgency and focus in the strategy, which calls on countries to utilize the full potential of HIV prevention tools, especially for adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa, sex workers, people who inject drugs, gay men and other men who have sex with men, transgender people and people in prison settings.

The strategy is based on human rights, gender equality and dignity, free from stigma and discrimination for all people living with and affected by HIV, and is the result of extensive analysis of HIV data and an inclusive process of consultation with countries, communities and partners.

Achieving the goals and targets of the new strategy will require annual HIV investments in low- and middle-income countries to rise to a peak of US$ 29 billion by 2025. The total resource needs for lower-income- and lower-middle-income countries is around US$ 13.7 billion. Donor resources are mainly needed for low-income and lower-middle-income countries, while in upper-middle-income countries, which account for 53% of the investments needed, domestic resources are the predominant source of funding.

The priority actions for Eastern Europe and central Asia include:

  1. Urgently expand access to combination HIV prevention, including PrEP and harm reduction. This calls for focused steps to ensure a sound, seamless and sustainable transition of prevention programmes from donor to domestic funding. Gender-responsive harm reduction programmes for people (including adolescents and young people) who use stimulant drugs or other new psychoactive substances must be introduced and scaled up.
  2. Close gaps in the testing and treatment cascade by rolling out the treat-all approach fully, with particular attention to linkages to care and rapid initiation of treatment for all people with new or previous HIV diagnosis. Testing and treatment scale-up for key populations must be prioritized.
  3. Institutionalize community-led services into national health care and HIV prevention systems, ensuring that community-led services account for at least 30% of HIV service delivery.
  4. Remove discriminatory and punitive laws, policies and structural barriers (HIV transmission, exposure, barriers to treatment for migrants, laws criminalizing key populations, including adolescents and young people), strengthen the capacity of the judiciary to promote and protect human rights in the context of HIV, and reduce stigma in medical settings, legislative and educational institutions, and law enforcement practices.
  5. Transform harmful gender norms and reduce gender-based violence, including through the use of digital technologies to improve access to services for all in need.

To read the Strategy, please follow this link>>>.


COVID-19 and HIV

Decades of investment in the HIV response have created platforms that are proving useful in battling COVID-19 – just as they were in responding to the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in western and central Africa.

The new report by UNAIDS examines how the experience of tackling HIV can help inform and guide effective, efficient, people-centred and sustainable COVID-19 responses.

This report focuses on three key issues: (1) how key lessons learned from the HIV response should inform COVID-19 responses; (2) how the HIV infrastructure is already driving COVID-19 responses and has the potential to catalyse accelerated progress through strategic action; and (3) how the COVID-19 response, informed by the history of responding to HIV, offers a historic opportunity to build a bridge to adaptable results-driven systems for health that work for people.

Key recommendations for the COVID-19 response include:

  • COVID-19 responses should benefit from learning from the HIV experience
  • Communities must be at the centre of COVID-19 responses
  • COVID-19 responses should be guided by human rights principles and practices
  • COVID-19 responses should be gender-sensitive and transformative
  • COVID-19 demands a multi-sectorial, all-of-government, all-of-society response
  • COVID-19 responses should leverage the HIV infrastructure
  • COVID-19 strategic information data must be used to guide action, increase accountability and improve programme performance
  • COVID-19 responses will require strong political leadership
  • We must use COVID-19 to reimagine systems for health

To read and download the report, follow this link>>>.


Collection of models of good practice

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) Guidance Prevention and control of infectious diseases among people who inject drugs identifies good practice for prevention and control of infectious diseases among people who inject drugs. This guidance aims to support policy makers in Europe to plan adequate, evidence-based, pragmatic, and rationally designed public health responses for the prevention and control of infections among people who inject drugs. It aims at public health programme planners and decision makers working in the fields of infectious diseases, general public health, addiction and mental healthcare, social services, and drug control at national and regional levels.

Published n 2011, the Guidance is currently being updated. In addition to ongoing systematic reviews of peer-reviewed literature, a collection of models of good practice has been initiated by the two agencies, that should add practice-based evidence derived from interventions implemented in real-life, European settings.

The two EU agencies are inviting applications to report models of good practice targeting PWID population aiming to:

  • improve community-based testing
  • increase linkage to care
  • increase adherence to treatment of infection interventions
  • prevention or reduction of infections through successful health promotion approaches

The infections of interest are hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV), HIV and tuberculosis (TB).

Should you or your organisation be interested in reporting a model of good practice that fits the scope of this call, please express your interest following this link>>>.

Sex Work & HIV Training Programme

The International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE) launched the call for participants for the European Red Umbrella Academy: Sex Work & HIV Training Programme. The training will take place from 19 – 22 March 2020 (location to be decided).

The Academy programme consists of coordination of a regional sex worker and HIV activists training, bringing together 24 activists from 8 countries, followed by a national one-day training for local sex workers communities on topics related to HIV. Furthermore, the project includes development of briefing papers on topics identified by the participants for advocacy and education purposes. The programme will be implemented in partnership by ICRSE and European AIDS Treatment Group.

Sex workers interested in developing their knowledge relating to sex work and HIV and HIV activists interested in developing their knowledge on sex work issues and supporting sex worker self-organisation can apply. Applicants must be based in a European or Central Asian country. Applicants can apply individually or in country-teams of up to three people. Application closing date is 31 January 2020.

ICRSE and EATG will cover all accommodation, travel and food expenses of the trainers during the whole duration of the training module.

To get a full information about the training, follow this link>>>

A large European survey among men who have sex with men

The European Men-Who-Have-Sex-With-Men Internet Survey EMIS-2017 collected comparable data from 127.792 participants – men who have sex with men from 48 countries in Europe. It provides insights on their knowledge of HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections (STI), sexual behaviour, prevention needs and testing habits.

EMIS-2017 was executed by Sigma Research (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) as part of European Surveys and Training to Improve MSM Community Health (ESTICOM). It was a three-year project (2016-2019) funded by the European Commission Health Programme 2014-2020 through a tender by the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency (Chafea).

The results show considerable differences across the countries reflecting Europe’s diversity with respect to sexual health and behaviour of MSM. The report describes both MSM behaviour and needs, alongside resulting morbidities, and the likely value of current services to address these.

The Executive Summary indicates that sex between men remains the predominant mode of HIV transmission in the EU/EEA countries, where the first signs of a decline in reported new cases resulted from a 20% drop in new diagnoses among MSM (2015-2017). Responses to a survey that focused on knowledge about HIV and sexually transmitted infections, sexual behaviour, access to care, HIV-related stigma and the use of services for HIV and sexual health is a strong indication that this group cares about HIV and sexual health issues. For example, every second (56%) respondent had received an HIV test result in the last 12 months and almost half (46%) had tested for other STI during the same period.

To read full Report, follow this link>>>