Press Releases
26 November 2019

Call to Action on delivering on political commitments to tackle HIV in Europe launched in European Parliament

Strasbourg, 26 November 2019: HIV Outcomes will today launch a Call to Action urging European policymakers to ensure that long-term health outcomes and the quality of life of people with HIV are high on the political agenda. At a roundtable event in the European Parliament, Members of European Parliament, the European Commission, European experts, patients and clinicians will discuss key findings from a new report, which highlights the unaddressed long-term needs of people living with HIVin Europe.

Importantly, The Lancet HIV will launch ‘ The Lancet HIV Series on HIV Outcomes Beyond Viral Suppression’ , a special series of the highly-regarded peer-reviewed medical journal led and guest edited by HIV Outcomes Co-Chairs Jeffrey Lazarus and Jane Anderson together with steering group member Georg Behrens of Hannover Medical School – who also represents the European AIDS Clinical Society (EACS) on HIV Outcomes’ steering group – and Teymur Noori from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) – an observer to HIV Outcomes’ steering group. This Series puts the spotlight on person-centred HIV care, tackling stigma and reorienting services for a new era that goes ‘beyond viral suppression’.

As life expectancy for people living with HIV has increased, additional unmet requirements for achieving good long-term health and well-being have emerged. The HIV Outcomes Call to Action highlights the value of promoting well-being, preventing comorbidities (co-existing medical conditions) and eliminating stigma and discriminationin improving people’s lives. This will, in turn, help reduce future public expenditure, increase productivity and extend working life. It proposes concrete actions for European policymakers to ensure that the long-term health outcomes and quality of life of people living with HIV are high on the political agenda.

‘We should celebrate the fact that people with HIV are living longer,’ said Nikos Dedes, Co-Chair of HIV Outcomes. ‘Now we must rise to the new challenges this presents and help people to live long healthy lives. This means improving access to services for the prevention, treatment and management of chronic conditions, as well as mental health support and sexual and reproductive health advice. We are ready to work with policymakers to co-design better policy actions.’

The event, co-hosted by MEPs Frédérique Ries (Renew Europe, Belgium), Cristian Busoi (European People’s Party, Romania), Sara Cerdas  (Socialists and Democrats, Portugal) and Petra De Sutter  (Greens, Belgium), will hear the latest insights from the HIV Outcomesinitiative. Building on the initiative’s 2017 recommendations and 2018 report on the road-testing of the recommendations in Italy and Sweden, the new learnings from HIV Outcomes’ 2019 activities put the spotlight on Germany and Romania.

‘Europe must ensure that people living with HIV have good health-related quality of life and that stigma and discrimination are eliminated. As policymakers, we are committed to deliver for citizens by supporting policy change to secure the long-term health and wellbeing of people living with HIV. The Call to Action and insights from Lancet HIV as well as HIVOutcomes’ in-country activities offer concrete actions to make this happen,’ the MEPs said in a joint statement.

While Germany is on the verge of reaching the UNAIDS ’90-90-90′ goals [1] , the report calls for the addition of a fourth goal – quality of life – and improved data collection on quality of life measures. Romania, where a large proportion of people living with HIV contracted the infection  whilst in state care between 1985 and 1995, was a forerunner in establishing access to antiretroviral therapies and social support. However, the concept of quality of life for people living with HIV in the long-term is not yet well established. In both countries, there  is a need for more research on the determinants of quality of life in people with HIV and for greater efforts to combat discrimination in the health system and wider society.

The roundtable discussion takes place ahead of World AIDS Day (1 December) and during European Testing Week.

The HIV Outcomes policy recommendations

  1. Adopt an integrated, outcomes-focused, and patient-centred approach to long-term care
  2. Upscale involvement of the HIV community in priority setting at country level
  3. Expand national monitoring of long-term care and outcomes
  4. Fund studies to provide information on the long-term health of people living with HIV
  5. Combat stigma and discrimination within health systems

[1] The UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets aim to achieve the following by 2020: 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy, and 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.

 

For further information on the HIV Outcomes: Beyond Viral Suppression initiative, please contact:

secretariat@hivoutcomes.eu / +32 (0) 488 267 192

www.hivoutcomes.eu / @hivoutcomes

 

Notes for editors:

About the HIV Outcomes initiative:

The HIV Outcomes initiative reflects a widespread recognition among experts that important aspects of the health and social well-being of people living with HIV receive insufficient attention from policy makers and healthcare providers. The initiative aims to make these aspects central to the overall HIV response. Governments and health systems must now respond to the fact that people living with HIV are living longer and provide treatment and care that will enable them to remain in good health as they grow older and lead successful, productive and rewarding lives. The initiative is sponsored by Gilead Sciences and ViiV Healthcare.

Our vision: A world in which people living with HIV enjoy good long-term health outcomes and quality of life.

The Lancet HIV Series on HIV Outcomes Beyond Viral Suppression:

Bringing together an international panel of leading academics and experts, authors of The Lancet HIV Series examines barriers to achieving wider HIV outcomes beyond viral suppression.

HIV Outcomes is proud to support this series, which was led and guest edited by HIV Outcomes Co-Chairs Jeffrey V Lazarus and Jane Anderson together with steering group member Georg Behrens of Hannover Medical School – who also represents the European AIDS Clinical Society (EACS) on HIV Outcomes’ steering group – and Teymur Noori from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) – an observer to HIV Outcomes’ steering group.

The Series is available here from 23.30 (UK time) on 24 November: https://www.thelancet.com/series/beyond-viral-suppression.

About World AIDS Day:

World AIDS Day takes place on 1 December each year. It is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.

About European Testing Week:

European Testing Week was launched in 2013 to increase testing efforts and create awareness of the benefits of early HIV testing. This year, it takes place from 22 to 29 November.

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Initiative Partners
  • Aids Action Europe
  • AFEW International
  • East Europe and Central Asia Union of PLWH
  • European AIDS Treatment Group
  • Gilead
  • ViiV Healthcare
This initiative is enabled by sponsorship provided by Gilead Sciences and ViiV Healthcare.