In response to the alarming growth of the HIV epidemic in Eurasia, the EastWest Institute (EWI) launched an unprecedented effort in December 2002 to address the social, economic and security threats posed by this epidemic in the region. Under the leadership of Working Group co-chairmen Leo Hindery, Jr. and Mikhail Margelov, and former EWI Vice President for Global Security John Tedstrom, the U.S.-Russia Working Group Against HIV/AIDS assembled a diverse network of policy experts, business leaders, activists, institutions, and scientists in Russia and the United States at two major international conferences in Spring 2003. The Working Group sought to raise the political profile of Eurasia's HIV/AIDS epidemic among concerned leaders and experts in Russia and the West; broaden the base of public awareness about HIV/AIDS in Russia; create networks among Russians and Westerners who are engaged in the battle against AIDS; and strengthen political will in Russia to address the threat of HIV/AIDS in its neighborhood. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and Russian Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov helped launch the Working Group by delivering remarks at its opening meeting in Moscow in May 2003. During a second meeting of the Working Group in Washington in June 2003, participants met with U.S. Senators Edward Kennedy and Jon Corzine, and engaged senior U.S. government officials during a special policy forum at the State Department. In total, over 180 representatives participated in our Working Group meetings.
The U.S.-Russia Working Group Against HIV/AIDS affirmed that there remains enormous untapped potential for Russia, Ukraine, and neighboring states to work cooperatively with European and North American partners in the global fight against AIDS. The Working Group's final report (to be released in September 2003) provides concrete policy recommendations to Russian and Western leaders, corporate executives, and community activists on strategies for more effective HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support, and offers specific proposals for cooperative projects and activities.
The EastWest Institute decided in July 2003 to help launch Transatlantic Partners Against AIDS (TPAA), an independent organization dedicated to expanding the geographic focus of the Working Group and advancing its policy recommendations and programmatic initiatives. Through its broad network in North America, Europe, and Eurasia, TPAA works to join governments, individuals and institutions in the greater Euroatlantic region to effect policy outcomes and undertake initiatives that will enable Russia, Ukraine and neighboring countries to be more effective in the global fight against