KYIV, UKRAINE – HIV prevalence is reported to be up to 10 times higher among men who have sex with men and transgender people than among the general population in Eastern European and Central Asian cities. If countries fail to address the context of the epidemic, this already critical situation is likely to become worse.
This warning came during the First Regional Consultation on HIV, Men who have Sex with Men and Transgender People in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, convened by the United Nations. More than 150 government and civil society representatives from 15 Eastern European and Central Asian countries participated in this three-day consultation to discuss how to strengthen national responses to halt the rising HIV epidemic among men who have sex with men and transgender people.
Dzmitry Filippau, director of the Russia-based menZDRAV Center for Social Development and Men’s Health Foundation, noted that “men who have sex with men are being infected with the virus at a pace that is not adequately addressed by national responses. They are not offered sufficient health services to protect themselves from infection and, compared to other parts of the world, have been relatively invisible in the response to HIV.”
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