On 11 and 12 December, representatives of four populations at higher risk of HIV infection—people who inject drugs, sex workers, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people and former prisoners—gathered in Kyiv, Ukraine, for the legal formalization of the National Platform for Key Communities and to agree on key priorities for advocacy and on how the platform will be managed and operated.
The platform’s priorities will include influencing policies and decision-making processes, the development of a package of HIV prevention services that respond to the needs of key populations and responding to discrimination.
The participants decided on the positioning, role and contributions of the platform in the national AIDS response, the implementation of a Fast-Track strategy and the form of an HIV prevention 100 days of action campaign. They also enthusiastically welcomed continued Dutch, UNAIDS and civil society collaboration and agreed on a unified strategic vision for the participation of civil society and the platform in key events, including the International AIDS Conference, to be held in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in 2018.
The 3 key advocacy areas for the platform will be:
- The participation of communities in decision-making on health, an effective response to HIV and tuberculosis and the protection of human rights.
- The provision of access to services for key groups focused on the needs of communities that are implemented by the communities and funded by national and local budgets.
- The protection of rights and the prevention of discrimination.
Velta Parkhomenko, National key populations platform, Ukraine: “We will do our best to make the platform an effective advocacy instrument to help us to achieve our joint objectives and influence decision-making processes that affect our lives and health.”
Monique Middelhoff, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands: “The Government of the Netherlands has been and will continue to support this community-led initiative to make the joint voice of key populations in Ukraine heard and taken into account in strategic decision-making at the national, regional and international levels.”
Jacek Tyszko, UNAIDS Country Director, Ukraine: “The National Platform for Key Communities is a strong, transparent and self-regulated forum of community leaders and individuals with a deep understanding of advocacy and formulating joint positions and statements.”