60 Seconds with... Matthias Wienold, The European AIDS Treatment Group
Each month we will be interviewing an IAPO member in six short questions. They will be featured in our newsletter and the website.
Our featured member of the month is Matthias Wienold from the European AIDS Treatment Group. Matthias is joining our Governing Board in August and answered a few questions for us.
1. Describe your role at the European AIDS Treatment Group:
I was an angry young man instrumental in the setting up of EATG as its first Executive Director. As a member I continue to serve in policy and as a mentor and trainer. I have been the IAPO representative of EATG since 2006.
2. I do what I do because...
I learnt to fight stigma and discrimination the hard way. My own effort led me to others working on a common agenda. As patients we must be empowered to represent ourselves. We are part of the solution of healthcare’s problems. I consider my talents and knowledge as a responsibility to my community. I enjoy working with others to improve our fates and to realize health as our human right.
3. Why does the European AIDS Treatment Group exist?
In 1991 European AIDS activists formulated demands around access to research, treatment and information. The European AIDS Treatment Group was founded in 1992 to provide a platform for interaction with clinicians, industry and regulatory bodies. From a small group of committed members, EATG has developed into a wide-ranging patient-driven network covering the WHO EURO region.
The EATG contributes to the public health and welfare system by:
- Information and counselling on Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome = AIDS and the clinical, medical and social issues related to it.
- Striving to achieve effective treatment and access to treatment trials for as many people with HIV/AIDS as soon as possible.
- Striving for maximum influence of people with HIV/AIDS on any research that relates to them.
- Supporting institutions and organizations whose activities aim at identical goals as well as at research of therapy possibilities.
- Networking of European initiatives and self-help groups that contribute to the same aims. The EATG promotes unprejudiced presentation of AIDS-related issues in public and aims to improve the situation of those concerned and their acceptance in society.
4. What is your biggest achievement as an organization in the past year?
In 2014 EATG focussed on treatment and prevention (HIV, TB and Hepatitis). Our activities highlighted issues around drug-pricing, fighting back cuts in HIV-services and expansion of community-based HIV-testing services. Our bilingual (English/Russian) training academy provided self-advocacy and research training to a new generation of activists across Europe. See our annual report for more.
5. What does patient-centred healthcare look like to you?
Patients are fully respected as individuals and as representatives of their interests. Our knowledge and expertise is critical on all levels of decision-making. In the centre of health care we are the key stakeholder community. We are empowered to contribute to better healthcare to respond to our daily needs.
6. What do you think is the key benefit of being involved with IAPO and a global alliance for patients?
IAPO membership provides EATG with a forum to communicate our experiences in a rapidly developing field of policies, research, drug regulation and treatments. IAPO enables us to discuss and share our perspectives and lessons learnt across a wide spectrum of other disease entities. We are proud members of a global alliance of patients.
If you are an IAPO member and would like to be featured in our '60 seconds with...' series, please get in touch.