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IAS and UNITE launch a working group on HIV at the European Parliament

The informal working group on HIV at the European Parliament, led by IAS – the International AIDS Society – and UNITE Global Parliamentarians Network to End Infectious Diseases was officially launched today.

"It is my pleasure to launch the first cross-party working group on HIV in the European Parliament. Together with UNITE, it is our hope that this informed coalition will strengthen European leadership in the HIV response," Sharon Lewin, IAS President-Elect said.

Members of the European Parliament met to agree on how to incentivize and increase investment in pandemic preparedness, as well as research and development for HIV prevention. They also discussed how to tackle stigma and discrimination towards people living with and affected by HIV.

"We have three main priorities regarding HIV: to promote investment in science and technology, to build European-wide HIV interventions, and to combat discrimination and violence related to HIV,” said Lídia Pereira, MEP from Portugal.

The event welcomed a distinguished panel of speakers, including Hendrik Streeck, Director of the Institute of Virology and Institute for HIV Research at the University of Bonn, Anna Zakowicz, Deputy Director of AHF Europe, Matthew Kavanagh, Deputy Director of UNAIDS, and Luís Mendão, President of the Treatment Activists Group. 

The inaugural roundtable presented the scope, mission and objectives of the informal working group on HIV, which is already represented by nine MEPs from Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal and Spain. Discussions focused on the development of a set of recommendations to share with European Union institutions and the organization of capacity-building sessions and multilateral gatherings to provide parliamentarians with tools to address the group’s advocacy priorities. 

The IAS and UNITE expect that the group will advance HIV policies at the European level.