With more than 25000 attendees so far registered, the 16th International AIDS Conference to be held August 13-18, 2006 in Toronto will be possibly the largest according to Darryl Perry, executive director of Conference Secretariat, Eedi reported.

Ukraine’s delegation will consist of government (acting one or hopefully a new one will be in place), NGO and international organizations’ representatives and professionals. Since the Bangkok Conference of 2004, Ukraine has gone a long way, from the scandal with the Global fund grant to full fledged implementation of most of its obligations. Although Ukraine still faces criticisms for its rights abuse of the HIV+ people by Human rights watch, yet the All-Ukrainian Network of HIV+ people are nominated for excellent grassroots level work for a new award.

As Andrei Klepikov, Executive Director of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine, who plans to attend the Toronto conference points out, “We have a lot to share today. This time it is a lot more positive, a real breakthrough after Bangkok. We are not just going to learn, although at this stage, when the application to the Global fund is being prepared and the level of obligations and tasks are mounting, the Toronto meet will allow us to look at best practices and learn as well. We know what to do, but how to do is important to know.” 

According to Klepikov, Ukraine’s AIDS problem is one of the most complicated in the region. Days ago, the National Coordination Council approved a $150 million application to the Global Fund, but, according to Klepikov, there is no take-up by the government of the on-going commitments met by donors and sub-contracted parties. In this round, the 6000 people to be covered by ARV treatment is not incorporated into the budgetary program for the future years, making them an on-going liability for the donor supported programs.


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