4th International HIV and Viral Hepatitis Testing Week launched in Ukraine
From November 20-26, the 4th International HIV and Viral Hepatitis Testing Week will take place simultaneously on five continents in more than 40 countries around the world.
Initiators of the week of testing, a coalition of NGOs Coalition PLUS, which fights against HIV and viral hepatitis around the world, note that the call of the initiative is to unite countries in their fight against epidemics and encourage people to be tested. Activists, NGOs, and government agencies are implementing additional prevention measures, raising awareness, and talking about innovative prevention tools such as self-testing and PrEP.
It is estimated that approximately one million people in Ukraine do not know they have hepatitis C. One in three HIV-positive Ukrainians is unaware of their status.
By combining the efforts of the “Your Family Doctor” project in partnership with HealthLink, the largest HIV testing project, and the Center for Public Health, CO “100% Life” reminds that HIV testing is easy, fast and free.
“For almost two years, we have been fighting the HIV epidemic in the midst of a full-scale war, and we see that internal migration and displacement have affected the geography of service needs. However, the core message remains the same: knowing your status is a prerequisite for taking control of your health. The full-scale war multiplies additional challenges and threats, both for the health system and for the population. But even under the pressure of these circumstances, our HIV testing and prevention projects are fully operational, and we are expanding and strengthening our capabilities according to the needs of different regions,” says Dmytro Sherembey, Head of CO 100% Life.
The HealthLink project’s interactive map allows anyone to find a convenient location and get tested for HIV.
Just in time for International Testing Week, HealthLink is opening an order for oral HIV tests by mail. Anyone can be screened online and determine their own risk of HIV infection at prozdorovia.in.ua. Depending on the results of the screening, the website will offer the user the best way to get tested: ordering a test at home or at the nearest testing site.
As part of International Testing Week, the Your Family Doctor project brought together 36 doctors from different parts of Ukraine who became ambassadors for the project. They will focus on testing people throughout the week and spreading the word about testing opportunities. They will become ambassadors for the project.
In order to involve and educate the healthcare community, the Your Family Doctor project has prepared a list of useful materials for International Testing Week to help doctors involve patients in testing. Special creative posters for participating in the online flash mob can be downloaded here. The posters will help you share your own activities during the test week, using the campaign hashtags #РазомНеСтрашно #ТестуйсяВІЛьно #WeGetTested
We should mention that HIV and hepatitis testing is accessible in Ukraine. People can get a free rapid test for viral hepatitis and HIV at their family doctor’s office. It is also possible to use the option of rapid testing in the premises of specialized NGOs.
The NGO 100% Life, the largest patient organization, together with the Public Health Center, has developed a map of hepatitis testing sites (link). These health facilities offer free HIV and hepatitis testing.
Comprehensive information on HIV and hepatitis, as well as online screening options to identify HIV risks, are available at prozdorovia.in.ua.
International HIV and Hepatitis Testing Week was created by Coalition PLUS, a coalition of NGOs fighting HIV and viral hepatitis around the world.
Coalition PLUS is the largest francophone coalition, operating in some 50 countries and comprising some 100 organizations. CO 100% Life, the largest patient organization in Ukraine, joined the Coalition in 2020 and became the provider of the International Testing Week in Ukraine.