The COVID-19 pandemic has made tremendous changes to global health programmes. Many goals anticipated to be reached this year, and soon after, have been delayed. Many important international events have been rescheduled, including the international forum in Moscow – Reaching Sustainable Development Goals in Combating Epidemics (new dates – 27-29 October 2020). Yet, at the same time, an urgency for reaching SDG 3.3. has grown. The leading principles of the SDGs – universal access, equality and sustainability – have special significance.
The COVID-19 pandemic effected every sector of society, including those working in education, healthcare, transportation, the food industry, leisure, etc. It brought new demands to the level of prevention of infectious diseases, especially in places of mass gathering (airports, railway stations, trade centres, etc).
Combating this new coronavirus demanded a significant diversion of resources from HIV/AIDS and other diseases, but it also demonstrated that the existence of sustainable systems and networks to combat infectious diseases allows for quick and effective responses to pandemics. This is very true for international cooperation and information exchange programmes.
UNAIDS requests that countries take action. The COVID-19 pandemic should not become a reason to slow down our response to HIV. HIV services should be accessible for people living with HIV and those at high risk of infection. Governments should collaborate with civil partners to assess the need for information, availability of treatment and access to networks providing services and support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With this in mind, the Rospotrebnadzor in collaboration with UNAIDS as organizers of the international forum in Moscow – Reaching Sustainable Development Goals in Combating Epidemics – will hold an international virtual symposium “Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and HIVon SGD 3.3.” The symposium will be part of preparations for the forum and will address various goals in response to HIV and other infectious diseases in relation to the new coronavirus. The symposium aims to discuss how the pandemic has affected resources, supplies, logistics, transportation, organization of care, involvement of civil society organization and scientific research related to COVID-19.