joi, 22 aprilie 2010

Open letter EU HIV/AIDS Civil Society Forum regarding Romania's access to antiretroviral treatment_22.04.2010

Civil Society Forum

Open letter to President of Romania Mr TRAIAN BĂSESCU
Prime Minister of Romania EMIL BOC
Romanian Minister of Public Health CSEKE ATTILA
Romanian Minister of Finance Mr SEBASTIAN VLĂDESCU
cc President of the National Insurance House in Romania Mr NICOLAE DUTA
cc Health counselor at the the Presidency VIRGIL PAUNESCU

Brussels, 22 April 2010

EU HIV/AIDS Civil Society Forum calls on the Romanian government to ensure access
to antiretroviral treatment

Dear President,
dear Prime Minister,
dear Minister of Public Health,
dear Minister of Finance,

We are writing to you as EU HIV/AIDS Civil Society Forum (CSF) Co-chairs, an advisory
body to the European Commission.

We are extremely alarmed and concerned by information received from local NGOs in
Romania according to which supply of and access to antiretroviral treatment for People
Living with HIV (PLHIV) in need is not assured - with some HIV patients having treatment
interruption of over a month now, and patients living in rural areas travelling to the capital
having to queue-up in front of the main hospital to obtain treatment.

The interruption of antiretroviral treatment therapy puts PLHIV at imminent danger to
develop resistance. In particular those who as youngsters got infected in Romanian
hospitals during their early childhood, between 1986 and 1992 are patients who
received several drug regimens in past, and some of them are already receiving their
last treatment option. By interrupting their treatment, these patients will be at great
personal health risk with the well known public health implications on top.

In the past, lack of funding has been cited as the main reason for repeated treatment
interruptions in Romania, and like in other European countries and in particular the
Baltic States the situation has been aggravated by the economic crisis the whole of
Europe is currently facing. However, most of the European Union countries managed to
prioritise uninterrupted HIV treatment and have where needed taken steps to control
prices for medicines striving to live up to their committment to ensure their universal
access to HIV prevention, treatment and care by 2010.

It is very regretable that Romania did not act upon the support offered by the affordable
medicines initiative put forward by the German authorities based on the Bremen
Whatever the reasons and details that have led to this untenable sitation in Romania,
the current situation constitutes a clear breach not only of the national commitments but
also of the European Convention of Human Rights Article 3.1

We hereby call on the Romanian authorities
· to provide necessary treatment to all of those in need immediately
· to negotiate price rebates with pharmaceutical companies as way of follow-up of
the so-called ‘Bremen initiative’
· to invite WHO Europe to have a country vitisit in Romania in order to thoroughly
assess the situation in Roumania and secure access in the long term

Furthermore, we encourage the Romanian government to have its representative at the
upcoming EU HIV/AIDS Think Tank meeting (5th of May 2010, Brussels) provide a
detailed report on the next steps the government intends to take to improve the

Yours sincerely,

Nikos Dedes Yusef Azad
Co-chair, Civil Society Forum Co-chair, Civil Society Forum

European AIDS Treatment Group Aids Action Europe
Place Raymond Blyckaerts 13 Keizersgracht 390
B-1050 Brussels NL -1016 GB Amsterdam
Email: Email:

The EU HIV/AIDS Civil Society Forum (CSF) is an informal advisory body established in 2005 by the EuropeanCommission to facilitate the participation of NGOs and networks, including those representing People Living with
HIV/AIDS, in European policy development and implementation as well as to exchange information.

1 For similar cases in which the Europan Court of Human Rights has sanctioned the national authorities for failing to fulfil their
obligations towards PLWH see „D. v the United Kingdom” and most recently „Oyal v Turkey”.

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