Activities to share skills and experiences between East and West Europe with AIDS Action Europe
AAE also took up the role of European regional network within ICASO with responsibility for its Vilnius office in Lithuania; the AAE secretariat has staff in Amsterdam and Vilnius.
AAE membership now stands at more than 240 organisations, approximately 70% of which are based outside the European Union. Positive Action has recently supported the development of AAE's HIV/AIDS Information Clearinghouse – and a series of capacity building seminars for members.
Europe does not have a homogenous HIV epidemic. While most Western European countries have had limited exposure to HIV, none has been untouched by the epidemic. Currently, with the notable exceptions of Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Switzerland, the region's prevalence remains at 0.2% of the adult population or lower.
In Eastern Europe and Central Asia however, several countries (Russia, Ukraine, Latvia and Estonia) have adult HIV prevalence of nearly 1% or higher. The countries with the highest epidemics are often those least supportive of community and non-governmental organisations and some of the interventions they propose.
The work of AAE has highlighted how the community responses to growing HIV epidemics across the region often have to develop in difficult environments. Their work to share experience and expertise and to build alliances on policy and advocacy is designed to strengthen the individual organisations and achieve impact on national and regional policy through their united efforts. Positive Action’s current funding to AAE supports:
- The development and maintenance of the Russian language sites of www.aidsactioneurope.org and www.hivaidsclearinghouse.eu
- The facilitation of AAE sub-groups for the development of policy and advocacy and full participation in these by members from outside the EU
- A series of activities to build capacity of member organisations in Eastern Europe
- The exploration and promotion of new information and communication technology among members and other AIDS organisations and networks
To read more about our other Positive Action projects from the voices of the people on the ground click here.