Kyiv City AIDS Center received the latest drug for the treatment of HIV-positive patients
1,300 patients of Kyiv City AIDS Center will receive the newest medication – dolutegravir – as Olena Pinchuk’s AntiAIDS foundation today transferred the first batch of dolutegravir to the clinic. In 2017-2018 for the first time in the Eastern Europe HIV-positive patients will receive antiretroviral therapy at the expense of the private funds. The project budget anounts to UAH 6.5 million. The patnetr of the Fund, All-UkRanian Netwrok of PLWH, became the procurement operator. De to the partmer initiative supported by the AntiAIDS Foundation Ukraine received the sixth generation medication for people living with HIV at an extrlmely low price, being only USD 170 per annual course. This woud allow to decrease the r=treatment cost and already in 2018 increase the number of people who ill have access to the life-saving tertment.
This medication is much more efficient and less toxic that the ones currently used for therapy. It is enough to take dolutegavir only once a day, which considerably simplifies the treatment and decreases the number of people who could possibly abandon treatment.
According to the up-to-date information of Kyiv City AIDS Center, as of July 1 there are 12,323 patients registered with the facility. 7,682 of them receive antiretroviral therapy.
Vitaliy Klichko, Kyiv city mayor: «The 6-th of April last year Kyiv acceded the Paris Declaration – thus, we joined the Fast-Track Cities Program of accelerating HIV response. Moreover, last year Kyiv was represented by both governmental and civil society participants at the Fast-Track Cities conference in New York which I had visited. One of our key commitments which we undertook within Fast-Track Cities program is to provide sufficient quantity of antiretroviral medications to treat patients with HIV/AIDS.
In 2017 another 5,000 of HIV-positive residents of Kyiv will receive treatment free of charge. These plans are developed in the capital within the framework of 90-90-90 strategy implementation. This year for the first time within the framework of public and private partnership Kyiv received as a charitable aid for Olena Pinchuk’s AntiAIDS Foundation the newest HIV medication – dolutegravir – to treat the first 750 patients with HIV. I am grateful to donors and partners for their help and the possibility for people to get treatment and to live full-fledged life».
Olena Pinchuk, founder of the AntiAIDS foundation: “Today we can proudly say that Ukraine has access to the newest medicines at the lowest price in its history. The first patient will start treatment under the new scheme already this week. It means that somebody will be able to get back to work, raise children study and make up plans for the future without fearing for their life. I know that not only patients but also doctors looked forward to this medication, because they obtained a new powerful opportunity to provide HIV prevention and treatment. If we are able to enroll on the therapy everybody who needs it, we will be able to curb AIDS epidemic. I am happy that together with the Network of PLWH we were the first to deliver this medicine to Ukraine and I strongly believe that international donors and the government will soon follow the lead.
Dmytro Sherembey, Chairman of the Coordination Council of Ukrainian Network of PLWH: “Dolutegravir is for a good reason known as “the medicine which makes sex safe”. It’s true that currently the majority of new cases are transmitted through sexual contacts. However, the newest therapy entering Ukraine will mean that nobody will be at risk of getting infected with HIV through unprotected sex. It does not mean that condoms are not needed, because there is lot of other dangerous infections apart from HIV. However, it means that there would be simply no HIV-positive people able to transmit the virus”.
Oleksandr Yurchenko, Chief Doctor of the Kyiv City AIDS Center: “Kyiv City AIDS Center, the leading healthcare establishment in HIV\AIDS prevention and treatment area in Kyiv and Ukraine, are ready to support the effort of our partners in the implementation of the most up-to-date and innovative approaches to the treatment of HIV. We are actively getting ready to launch dolutegravir treatment. It will be carried out under the control and in partnership with the patient organizations. This is the only possible way to contain the epidemic”.
Olena Pinchuk AntiAIDS Foundation announced the launch of a new project enabling to accelerate access to the newest antiretroviral therapy for Ukrainians in November 2016.
This is the first case in Eastern Europe when a private foundation participates in a treatment program. Until now, the program of antiretroviral therapy in Ukraine was financed exclusively by the state budget and international organizations. The involvement of a private partner enabled launching the first treatment with the newest sixth generation medication in our country (before this the treatment was based on the fourth generation medicines) began, and the cost of treatment was halved.
To date, the Network of PLWH is one of the main operators of treatment and procurement, which can provide the most favorable conditions for the supply of drugs. The patients for this program and their treatment will be selected on the basis of the Kyiv city AIDS center under the public control of patient organizations. This will be the first patients in Ukraine who will begin treatment with a new generation drug – dolutegravir.
In November 2015, the WHO European Office issued a new Global Guidelines on HIV aimed at increasing the effectiveness of prevention and treatment. The revolutionary change announced in this document was the provision that ART should be administered to all people living with HIV, regardless of the CD4 count. Since that moment the treatment is seen not simply as a factor that positively influences prevention, but as an effective tool for large-scale epidemic response. According to expert data, one person living with HIV and not taking therapy can infect up to two people per year. A patient taking antiretroviral therapy becomes absolutely safe for others. They will not infect their partners, because the concentration of the virus in their blood drops considerably. With regular intake of drugs, the blood of an HIV-positive person becomes literally clean.
ARV therapy in Ukraine
81,773 people are treated on the territory controlled by the Government of Ukraine. Among them 76,551 people in the institutions of the Ministry of Health, 2 947 in the institutions of the Academy of Medical Sciences and 2 275 in the penitentiary system facilities. The treatment for 40,926 people out of them is financed from the state budget, 22,820 people are treated at the expense of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and 15,752 people are treated with the support of PEPFAR. Another 2,275 people in penitentiary facilities are treated at the expense of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. It is planned that up to 100,000 HIV-positive patients will receive treatment by the end of 2017.
According to unofficial data, an additional 11,000 people receive treatment in uncontrolled territories through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
The budget of 2017 provides for UAH 684 million for the purchase of antiretroviral drugs (against UAH 252.8 million in the budget for 2016); UAH 149 million − for the purchase of medical products for HIV diagnostics (against UAH 101 million in the budget for 2016).
AIDS in Ukraine
Ukraine continues to hold the first place in Europe in terms of HIV prevalence. According to UNAIDS experts, in Ukraine there are up to 250,000 people living with HIV, and only every second of them knows about their diagnosis. As of April 1, 2017, 135,414 HIV-positive patients are registered in Ukraine.
For five months in 2017 in Ukraine, according to the Center for Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, 7,490 new cases of HIV infection were registered (1,085 of them among persons under 14 years old). In total, since 1987 304,914 new cases of HIV infection have officially been registered in Ukraine, 42,987 people died of AIDS. The regions most affected by HIV infection are the Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Kyiv, Mykolayiv and Odesa oblasts, as well as Kyiv city.
Since 2008 the sexual transmission way has been prevailing. While in 2005 33% of people got infected with HIV through sexual contacts, in 2012 this percentage increased to 51%. For the first time, more than half of the new cases of HIV transmission occurred through unprotected sex. In 2016, this rate was 62%. Most cases of HIV infection in Ukraine today are registered in young people aged from 15 to 30.
Kyiv and Fast-Track Cities
On April 6, 2016, the mayor of Kyiv Vitaliy Klichko signed the Paris Declaration of Fast-Track Cities, dedicated to intensifying the fight against HIV/AIDS in metropolitan cities. Kyiv joined this UNAIDS initiative following the example of 60 largest cities in the world. The ceremony took place in the Kyiv city state administration attended by diplomats and leaders of Ukrainian and international organizations that are involved in the fight against AIDS in Ukraine.
The Declaration was initiated and signed by mayors of major cities on December 1, 2014, at the World AIDS Day in Paris. It is aimed at achieving the 90-90-90 initiative of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). It means that 90% of people living with HIV know their status; 90% of people who know their status get treatment; 90% of people who receive therapy have undetectable viral load and are safe for other people. In addition, participants in this program expressed their readiness to achieve zero discrimination against people living with HIV and reduce the number of new HIV cases.
All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, (www.network.org.ua) – the charitable organization founded by HIV-positive people, which implements national and international programs to provide assistance to people living with HIV. The All-Ukrainian Network of PLWH is one of the principal recipients of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. One of the activities of the organization is increasing the access of HIV-positive people to treatment, care and support, namely, to antiretroviral therapy, which allows to prolong and improve the quality of life of people living with HIV.
For detailed information please contact Pavel Piminov, Director of Communications of Olena Pinchuk AntiAIDS Foundation: +380 44 490 4805, P.Piminov@antiaids.org.