2017 Country Report in progress

Overview: The national HIV response in the Republic of Moldova is guided by the National Control and Prophylaxis HIV/AIDS programme for 2016-2020, approved by the Government in mid 2016. Several studies and epidemiological analyses undertaken by the Joint United Nations Team on AIDS (Joint Team) resulted in a robust, well prioritized, costed, and defined programme to tackle the HIV epidemic. The Joint Team also provided technical assistance in 2016 to mainstream human rights and gender in the national HIV response, as well as to create synergies with other programmes, such as HIV prevention among youth.

HIV testing and treatment: With support from the Joint Team, self-testing was piloted in Moldova from May 2016 to increase the number of people living with HIV who know their status. The service is available to all in addition to conventional and rapid testing performed by non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The process towards reaching this achievement included strong advocacy with the Ministry of Health and the development of a road map on reaching the first 90% under the guidance of the UNAIDS Secretariat.

Elimination of mother-to-child transmission (eMTCT): WHO and the UNAIDS Secretariat facilitated and carried out preparatory and confirmation missions to the Republic of Moldova to validate the elimination of mother-to-child transmission (eMTCT) of syphilis, in preparation for the eMTCT of HIV process to be led in 2017. The follow up advocacy efforts of the Joint Team with the Ministry of Health resulted in a ministerial order stipulating the preparations of the health system, as well as the procedure of eMTCT of HIV validation, which is to be implemented through 2017.

HIV prevention among young people and key populations: Half a million youth and key populations were reached by online and TV behaviour change communication campaigns conducted by the Joint Team in collaboration with its partners (public health organisations, ministries, NGOs, and civil society organisations). Youth behaviour was addressed through Information Campaigns carried out in Secondary Schools and Summer Camps, social theatre performances, national and local advocacy events, interactive exhibition activities on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and rights, and the National Conference on Adolescent Health. The Joint Team further contributed to increasing the access of young people to age-appropriate SRH education and HIV/sexually transmitted infections (STIs) prevention through the implementation of Youth Friendly Services (YFH). 

Gender inequality and gender-based violence (GBV): A report on Costing Domestic Violence and Violence Against Women in Moldova, commissioned by UN Women and in cooperation with WHO, was developed by the NGO, Women's Law Centre. Twenty-three women survivors of violence from different groups (Roma women, women with HIV, migrant women, women with disabilities) also increased awareness on combating domestic violence by co-developing a Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Easy-Read document.

Human rights, stigma and discrimination: As a result of Joint Team support, persons coming from groups vulnerable to discrimination, including people living with HIV, had the chance to engage in advocacy activities for the promotion of their rights. As a result, 29 champions inspired other HIV positive people to disclose their status and realize their rights. The development of guiding procedures for police officers on their work with vulnerable groups (people living with HIV, people who inject drugs, men who have sex with men, sex workers) was advocated for by UNODC, as well as for the development of referral schemes for police offices in assisting them, especially people who use drugs.

Investment and efficiency: Data and monitoring and evaluation products, which were produced by the Joint Team, provided evidence for the HIV-related policy review, development, and improvement. For example, the integrated bio-behavioural study’s quantitative data will provide evidence for the HIV Plan and Global Fund grant development in 2017 for most at-risk populations and those left behind. The Key Affected Populations Survey on HIV among long-haul truck drivers was finalized in 2016, providing evidence to design interventions on HIV prevention among long-haul truck drivers - a bridge population to spread HIV from key populations to the general one.

Secretariat functions: High level commitment towards HIV control was reiterated by the Minister of Health at the High-Level Meeting in New York in June 2016. The Minister also provided her full commitment towards ensuring access of people living with HIV towards qualitative and affordable drugs by participating at the Minsk consultation in November 2016. In addition, Chisinau Draft Municipal HIV programme for the period 2017-2020 was developed for the first time, as a result of Joint Team advocacy and technical assistance to fast track the HIV response among the most affected locations of the country.