World AIDS Day in Central Asia 2011
Representatives from parliament, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Border, UNODC and the state Anti-Drug Committee in Azerbaijan sat in the same room, participating in intense discussions on December 12, 2011. This conference like many others, was organized by UNODC Central Asia regional office in cooperation with local stakeholders to commemorate World AIDS Day, December 1 st, raise public awareness and strategize about further actions needed to achieve "Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination, and Zero AIDS related deaths by 2015."
Like most World AIDS Day activities around the world, Central Asian countries commemorated the day by planning, supporting and holding activities and events which raise public awareness about HIV/AIDS issues such as prevention, treatment, stigma and discrimination.
On December 1 st, members from UNODC, The Ministry of Health, Republican AIDS Centre, UNAIDS and NGOs, just to name a few, participated in a press conference to raise awareness about the HIV/AIDS situation in Uzbekistan. Turkmenistan's UNODC officers distributed HIV advocacy materials, held a sporting event at Akhal AIDS Centre, campaigned at the Drop in Center and the Youth Center. Kyrgyzstan's UNODC team placed a photo exhibition in the parliament building and discussed HIV transmission and prevalence as related to drug use as well as Kyrgyzstan's national drug policy with parliamentarians and their staff. In Kazakhstan, the president of the Association for the People living with HIV along with other interested bodies discussed the sensitive issue of the stigma and discrimination people living with HIV face.
UNODC and its partners in Central Asia also focused on reaching "Zero" in key populations such as injecting drug users and prison population. Therefore press conferences, conferences and roundtable discussions, aiming at raising awareness and making plans of actions for HIV intervention, were held in early December.
The conference on December 12 in Azerbaijan was devoted to health, legislation and social problems among injecting drug users. UNODC office along with national partners in Kazakhstan had a held a roundtable discussion on "HIV prevention in penal systems" on December 6 th. Since HIV/AIDS is also a transnational issue problem, a regional HIV conference was held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan from December 5-6. Discussion ensued about transnational problems related to HIV prevention, testing and care from the presentations "Realization of the State HIV/AIDS Policy in Ukraine" and "Consultancy and test of AIDS. Achievements in the Republic of Moldavia."
World Aids Day activities in Central Asia fully address the issue of public awareness and HIV response in key populations in prison setting and injecting drug users.