Statements and Webcast
H.E. Mr. Rayko Raytchev, Permanent Representative
10 June 2011
- Statement: English (Check against delivery)
RAYKO RAYTCHEV ( Bulgaria) said that, while his country had maintained a low HIV prevalence among its general population, it had every reason to remain vigilant, given its common borders with the regions of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which were known for having the fastest growing number of infections. As early as 1996, the National Committee for AIDS Prevention had been established to coordinate Bulgaria’s response. Since 2001, significant financial resources had been allocated annually by the Government to implementation of the National Programme for Prevention and Control of HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections. For more than 14 years, the country had been providing up-to-date and free-of-charge antiretroviral treatment to all in need, and antiretroviral prophylaxis to prevent mother-to-child transmission. With the support of the Global Fund, Bulgaria, since 2004, had successfully scaled up access to prevention services among most-at-risk and vulnerable populations.
He said that Bulgaria’s integrated and balanced approach incorporated prevention, treatment, care and support, and strengthened human and institutional capacity. National standards and best practices had been established for the provision of specific services for the most at-risk groups, primarily through civil society partners. Among other things, mobile medical units, “low-threshold centres” for people who injected drugs, and community-based health and social centres facilitated access. People living with HIV also received quality medical care and psycho-social services, and participated in the planning and provision of those services. Welcoming the political declaration, he highlighted its reaffirmation of commitments for implementing national programmes among the most at-risk populations, as well as its use of human rights-based public health approaches. Among other notable aspects was its reaffirmation of strong financial commitments of national Governments and international organizations to ensure universal access.