1 December 2016 - "This year's World AIDS Day provides a platform for delivering a powerful global call to action to end the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat for everyone by 2030."UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said in his statement to mark World AIDS Day in Vienna. In collaboration with the Vienna based Joint Medical Services, UNODC HIV and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) held HIV voluntary testing and counselling for staff and raised funds for two local charities, AIDS Hilfe & Buddy Verein.
To Fast-track the AIDS response for people who use drugs and people in prisons, countries need to rapidly increase the coverage of the comprehensive package of HIV interventions, including harm reduction strategies," said UNODC Deputy Executive Director and Global Coordinator for HIV /AIDS Aldo Lale-Demoz.
UNODC stands ready to support countries to review, reform and implement legislative and policy frameworks that facilitate access to evidence and human rights based HIV services for people who use drugs and people in prisons, Mr Lale-Demoz added. With funding from the United Nations Federal Credit Union, UNODC Kenya held an outreach in collaboration with Reachout Centre Trust (RCT) at the Kwale Medium Prison.
RCT conducted HIV Testing and Counselling, Addictions Counselling sessions and a football tournament between inmates and prison staff.During the two-day outreach 320 inmates and wardens voluntarily tested for HIV and 776 people who use drugs received counselling and health care services. In Moldova, over 80 prison administration representatives joined the head of the Department of Penitentiary Institutions in a Flash Mob dedicated to the World AIDS day. The activity was organized jointly by the DPI, UNODC, UNAIDS, NGO Positive Initiative and NGO AFI saw prison personnel pose in a "human red ribbon" in a show of their commitment to end AIDS by 2030."
The dedication and commitment of every prison officer is important in the task of preserving the health and wellbeing of people living with HIV/AIDS and people who inject drugs during their time in our custody," said DPI Director, Mr. Panzari. During the flash mob prison administration personnel, civil society, church and international organizations representatives have also shared the sustainable development goal messages related to HIV/AIDS.
Ending AIDS by 2030 is about embracing shared responsibility and expressing global solidarity."We have the global commitments and strategies to achieve this goal, but we must act quickly and deliberately," Mr Fedotov said.