European Union Response to HIV/AIDS in Russia Shows ‘Very Little Concern’ for Epidemic, Opinion Piece Says
The European Union's response to the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic in Russia -- with which the E.U. will soon share a border -- seems to be evidence that it has "very little concern" for preventing the spread of HIV in the region, Rian van de Braak, general director of the AIDS Foundation East-West, and David Veazey, fundraiser for the group, write in a Moscow Times opinion piece. Although the European Union is a major contributor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and operates some projects in the region, it lacks a "common strategy and clear position" on the Russian AIDS epidemic and is "losing precious time" to prevent the epidemic from spreading, van de Braak and Veazey say. The European Union needs to work with the United States to provide resources and mobilize political will to fight HIV/AIDS in Russia, van de Braak and Veazey say, adding that Europe also can bring "valuable expertise [and] a liberal and constructive attitude toward such sensitive topics as preventing HIV among injecting drugs users or sex industry workers." However, the European Union should not be responsible for tackling the epidemic alone and should call on wealthy countries and the Russian government to take more responsibility for tackling the epidemic, van de Braak and Veazey say (van de Braak/Veazey, Moscow Times, 11/20).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.