Eurasian Network of People Who Use Drugs (ENPUD) supports the HIV2020 conference in Mexico City, which will be held July 5-7, 2020.
ENPUD is in solidarity with the position of the International Network of People Who Use Drugs (INPUD) and the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) regarding the holding of an alternative HIV2020 conference in Mexico City and expresses its full support to the organizers of this event.
The next 2020 International AIDS Conference is due July 6-10, 2020 in San Francisco and Oakland, USA. Despite recommendations from global networks of various communities, the International AIDS Society (IAS) has chosen the United States as the venue for the next International AIDS Conference in 2020.
However, restrictions on travel to the United States affecting people who use drugs, sex workers and ex-prisoners are a significant barrier to many people from the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region. Restrictions allow the United States to legally justify the denial of visas to representatives of these key populations. This means that many people who use drugs, as well as other criminalized and marginalized communities, will essentially be barred from attending the AIDS 2020 conference in San Francisco and Oakland.
Thus, the IAS decision to host the AIDS Conference in the United States demonstrates disregard for our values, which include a clear focus on human rights and the participation of key populations in all activities related to their health and life. In addition, this speaks of ignoring the community voice and further marginalization and exclusion of already marginalized and discriminated groups from the general work.
Our position is that the community of people who use drugs should be involved in activities and decisions related to their health and life. The AIDS Conference is an important global forum that should provide people who use drugs with a safe place to express their position on the most important issues. The IAS decision to host its next conference in the country, which discriminates against key populations and marginalized communities, makes ENPUD an obvious choice in favor of the HIV2020 Conference in Mexico City.
HIV2020 in Mexico will provide a safe alternative to people who are unable or unwilling to enter the United States at the AIDS Conference. This will provide an opportunity to reaffirm the leading role that communities play in the global response to HIV. HIV2020 is a critical necessity - it is a call for change. Led by people living with HIV, people who use drugs, sex workers, gays and bisexuals, transgender people and our allies, the HIV2020 will run parallel to the first half of the 2020 International AIDS Conference in USA.
The Mexico conference will focus on equity, parity and inclusion, reflecting the changing paradigm of the HIV response around the world. The event will focus on presentations and debates that are important to showcase the work and research conducted by people living with HIV. This will guarantee that our voice will be heard all over the world, including San Francisco and Oakland.
We emphasize that we do not urge our members to boycott AIDS 2020. We support those who will be present in the United States, advocating for human rights, respect, support, etc. However, ENPUD will not participate in AIDS 2020 either as an organizer or as a partner of this event. We will focus our efforts so that people who use drugs, sex workers, gays and bisexuals, as well as transgender people from all over the world can take part in the alternative HIV2020 event in Mexico City.
We encourage our members and other organizations to support HIV2020 by: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSccf4DXP5o0GxAKWLyZIUiCAqsPfhKU-X5Li2ATrsKW9YRt1g/viewform
Visit the HIV2020 conference web-site for more information: