At the global epicenter of the HIV epidemic, intravenous drug use and sharing of syringes, needles and drug use paraphernalia, unprotected sex, multiple sexual partners, and low and inconsistent condom use are among the drivers of the spread of the virus . Equally, prisoners comprise a key vulnerable population contributing to the epidemic.
Civil society groups across Eastern Europe and Central Asia are consolidating resources and presenting a unified front to national governments to call for a greater domestic investment in harm reduction as part of the HIV response.
The first two grants under the full rollout of the new funding model (NFM) should soon be approved for signing by the Global Fund Board. Both grants emanate from an HIV concept note submitted by Moldova during the first window on 15 May 2014.
In July 2014, in a meeting room in the Moroccan capital Rabat, a young Moroccan woman stood up and addressed an audience composed of senior representatives from international organizations and government -- including the Ministry for Islamic Affairs and the prison system. Speaking in Arabic, she announced herself as "a representative of the sex workers of Morocco.”
The concept note delivered on 8 September for Russia's last HIV grant from the Global Fund was a perfect illustration of the conundrum facing a growing number of Eastern European/Central Asian countries: how to do more with less to fight a widening HIV epidemic.
Ten years of armed conflict and perpetual insecurity have driven HIV prevalence in Côte d'Ivoire higher -- especially among women in the western zone on the Liberian border. Many of these women were infected as a result of sexual violence perpetuated by one or another of the marauding armed groups that terrorized the region for over a decade; others were infected after turning to prostitution to escape extreme poverty.
Malawi's ability to control the spread of HIV will be undermined by the structural barriers that prevent access to services by key populations: this was the message delivered to stakeholders participating in country dialogue to develop the southern African nation's HIV concept note.
Communication between the Global Fund and organizations working on male sexual health issues in the Asia-Pacific is the biggest obstacle keeping at-risk populations from joining the conversation on how to respond to HIV, according to the Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCOM).
For activists who hand out clean syringes and HIV tests outside a shop in northern Moscow, the reaction from some of the area's users of injected drugs has become routine: they avert their eyes, either in fear or shame, and quicken their steps to get out of sight.
David Garmaise opens his commentary with an accurate observation: He had a misperception. But he arrives at a conclusion that is wrong. The consequences of the new funding model were not, in fact, unanticipated.