Kazatchkine Calls For Increased Efforts To Prevent HIV/AIDS Among ‘Key Affected Populations’

Writing in the BMJ blog, Michel Kazatchkine, the U.N. special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, reflects on progress made against the AIDS epidemic in the last decade, noting, “The response to AIDS has generated extraordinary hope … that it may indeed be possible to end major epidemics in poor countries.” However, he continues, “This progress contrasts with the failure to respond effectively to HIV among so-called ‘key affected populations’ — people who inject drugs (PWID), sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM), and prisoners, as well as migrant and transgender populations, among whom the response to AIDS has often been a story of indifference and neglect.” He adds, “The response to the AIDS epidemic has certainly come a long way in the past three decades, but we urgently need a shift in the collective mindset to change the course of the epidemic for those key affected populations” (11/5).