Second, because we need to improve early diagnosis and earlier care of HIV. Civil society has the answer, we need to listen to the NGOs and organizations and work with them. A good example are the BCN checkpoint is detection centre of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases oriented to gay men and other men who have sex with men. There the HIV test is done fast and with total confidentially and the people are after worse derivate to the hospital. This method increases the amount of users and help to destroy the stigma. Experiences like this one needs to be replicated around.
Third, because the crisis cannot stop us. This is about social justice. HIV treatments must be available for everybody living in the EU, regardless origin, nationality, economic position or other. Budget cuts have complicated states relationship with pharmaceutical companies. So far, there are no signs that this has disrupted supplies of HIV medicine. But the cuts are having a huge impact on the health systems and that can increase HIV cases and dilate its detection. Moreover, the new regulation of ACTA over patents can limit the access to medicines, banning the state capacity of provide generic medicines.
In the European Parliament, the Greens-EFA work constantly for a Fundamental Rights and an inclusive Europe. Concretely, I am the reporter for the European Union (EU) anti-discrimination directive. This directive should contribute to end exclusion and discrimination that people suffer because of their age, sexual orientation, religion or disability. Unfortunately, the adoption of this anti-discrimination directive requires the agreement of all 27 EU Member States and Germany is the principle country blocking it in the Council. The directive would help persons with HIV and other millions of people in Europe to enjoy their rights without discrimination.
In summary, we need a holistic approach of Europe health and social services in cooperation with the civil society to prevent the propagation of the virus, to detect it as soon as possible and to eliminate the stigma and discrimination of people with HIV. No more time to loose!
Raül Romeva i Rueda,
member of parliament’s women rights and gender equality committee,
Vice-president of the LGBT rights Intergroup,
and Vice-president of Greens-EFA