Mientras decenas de grupos activistas se negaron a asistir a la conferencia, otros se reunieron para intentar desarrollar una estrategia regional con la que contrarrestar la influencia de Rusia sobre la terapia de sustitución de opioides en la región. Más información, en inglés, está disponible abajo.

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Dozens of groups from across the region boycotted the Conference on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECAAC) for what they claim  is Russia's increasingly hostile position towards harm reduction and outreach among injected drug users and men who have sex with men.

The fourth EECAAC was held in Moscow in May. Co-sponsored by the Russian government and UNAIDS,  it sought to bring together academics, activists, technical partners and other stakeholders to trade ideas on best practice for prevention and treatment of the growing regional HIV epidemic. EECA is the only region in the world where HIV infections are continuously growing, due in large part to high transmission rates among injected drug users and other key populations.

But in decrying UNAIDS support for Russia's "murderous policies" and its work doing "the Russian government's bidding," many of the activist groups on the front line of the HIV response opted out in "solidarity with all those who suffer from repressions... and are not able to participate", and urged UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibé to do the same.

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