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Round table discussion on legal issues facing people living with HIV/AIDS and other vulnerable groups

25 October 2016, Dushanbe, Tajikistan -  The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) in Tajikistan,  through technical support of  the National Monitoring and Drug Prevention Centre of the Republic of Tajikistan conducted one day round table discussion  on “Joint engagement ofdecision makers, key HIV programme stakeholders andlawenforcement on  observance of the rights of vulnerable groups of population in regards to HIV and AIDS in the Republic of Tajikistan”.

Mr. Mirzosharif Odinaev,  Deputy of the Director of theNational Monitoring and Drug Prevention Centre of the Republic of Tajikistan  and facilitator of the round table discussion mentioned that “Through  following  round table we would like to familiarize the law enforcement agencies of our country to the realization process of programmes on HIV and AIDS fight in the country and the peculiarity of work with key groups of population, in other words, high risk groups for HIV infection, the issues of advocating for and provision of technical support to brake barriers for expanding access of vulnerable population  to social and judicial services and promote their human rights”.

Almost 30 participants from law enforcement agencies, decision and policy makers, international organizations and CSOs took part at the event.

In the course of the event, the presentations regarding HIV and stigma, the rights of PLHIV and others sounded. Mr. Mirzosharif Odinaev in his presentation - "Present  and ongoing activities, goals and objectives of the programs to combat HIV and AIDS in the country and their connection with the national policies and laws to combat HIV/AIDS", has mentioned about existing stigma and discrimination by law enforcement officials in relation to vulnerable groups especially PLHIV. Participants have mentioned that stigma and discrimination against PLHIV in the country can enhance the dissemination of HIV among people. 

Participants have mentioned that strong cooperation between decisionand policy makers, key HIV programme stakeholders,law enforcement and representatives of key populations are needed to overcome stigma and discrimination against PLHIV and stop the spread of HIV in the country.

At the end of the round table the participants agreed that ongoing stigma in society  about HIV or about those at risk of infection continues to prevent too many from seeking testing or treatment and  combating stigma is critical to stemming the spread of HIV in Tajikistan. Also it was mentioned that stigma keeps people from taking the action needed to protect themselves and others from this disease.

The project started its work in October 2016 and will last until the end of December 2016. During this period of time around 100 representatives of decision - making body, law enforcement agencies, communities and CSOs will pass the following sessions and gain knowledge on above mentioned issues.   In particular sessions will be conducted in Dushanbe city, Khatlon and Sugd regions.

One of the main outcomes of the National Round Table sessions will be development of the Resolution derived from the presentations, discussions, proposals and observations of the participants. The document claims and guides for further struggling with all forms of discrimination against vulnerable groups of population. The Resolution will be provided to national and international partners for their review and action. 

For more information, contact: Ulugbek Aminov, UNAIDS Country Manager at: AminovU@unaids.org or Bakhtiyor Mirzoev, Advocacy and Communication Officer, UN Joint Advocacy Project on HIV in Tajikistan at: bakhtiyor.mirzoev@undp.org.

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