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One million people tested for HIV: the result of the HealthLink project in 7 years

On May 17, 2024, on the occasion of the World AIDS Memorial Day, the largest patient organization, CO «100% Life», held a campaign «One Million Saved Lives» near the Red Ribbon Memorial in Kyiv.

 

This day, activists around the world not only honor the memory of those who have died of AIDS, but also talk about life. Ukraine ranks among the top countries in the European region in terms of HIV prevalence. However, today it is possible to live with HIV. The joint efforts of partners, donors and the government are doing everything possible to ensure that prevention and support programs, testing and treatment are available in wartime. Thus, one of the pillars of the healthcare system is the HealthLink project, the largest HIV testing project in Ukraine.

More than 1,000,000 Ukrainians have been tested for HIV in the 7 years of HealthLink’s operation. Among them, 26,000 Ukrainians learned about their HIV-positive status for the first time and are receiving treatment. This means they can live and control their health.

Dmytro Sherembey, director of CO «100% Life»:

«The HealthLink project was originally built on the partnership of a wide range of participants. The system we have built has not faltered either during the COVID-19 pandemic or during the full-scale war in Ukraine. Our achievements are the result of the synergy of the efforts of a large number of people, as well as the comprehensive support of the USAID project donor, who responded flexibly to our needs».

Consequently, every third newly diagnosed person with HIV was enrolled in testing thanks to the HealthLink project. More than 22,000 people have started taking antiretroviral therapy and more than 1,700 have received pre-exposure prophylaxis, which is prescribed for HIV-negative people at high risk of infection. Also, 381 people returned to treatment thanks to the program. Along with HIV testing, 96,000 Ukrainians were tested for hepatitis and almost 6,700 for syphilis.

The state guarantees Ukrainians with HIV the right to all necessary medical care throughout their lives: it is free, confidential and in line with the world’s leading treatment protocols.

 

 

«The National Strategy for Combating HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Viral Hepatitis until 2030 envisages the creation and operation of effective, innovative, flexible systems for the provision of quality and affordable services for the prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment of these diseases. The HealthLink project “Accelerating HIV/AIDS Response in Ukraine” focuses on providing people living with HIV/AIDS with modern methods of prevention and treatment, with more than 700 healthcare facilities involved in the project, which has expanded patient access to both self-testing and counseling services. Today, Ukraine is among the leaders in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region in responding to the HIV epidemic, which was made possible, in part, by the implementation of such effective and modern projects as HealthLink», Deputy Minister, Chief State Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine Ihor Kuzin said.

 

Also HealthLink for 7 years:

 

  • 1,700 HIV-negative people took pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP);
  • 96,000 people were tested for hepatitis and over 6,700 for syphilis;
  • 714 health care facilities participated in the project, from large dispensaries to hospitals in small towns;
  • more than 152,000 oral tests and almost 77,000 safe boxes were distributed;
  • more than 10,000 healthcare workers were trained to combat discrimination and stigmatization of people with HIV;
  • during the COVID-19 pandemic, 20 autonomous oxygen generation stations were purchased for support hospitals, 19 portable blood gas analyzers for patients on artificial lung ventilation, 4 centrifuges, an ice machine and consumables for the reference laboratory of the Central Public Health Center, etc.

Every one of these results is a key to countering the spread of the epidemic.

The HealthLink project, «Accelerating the HIV/AIDS Response in Ukraine» was implemented by the country’s largest patient organization, CO «100% Life», in partnership with the ICF «Alliance for Public Health» with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

All about HIV by the link  https://prozdorovia.in.ua/choise/ 

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For more information: CO «100% Life» is the largest patient organization that has been helping people with HIV for over 20 years and works in every region of Ukraine.

When Russia started a full-scale war in Ukraine, there was a risk of a catastrophic shortage of medicines for HIV patients.

At the urgent request of the Center for Public Health and the largest patient organization, CO «100% Life», PEPFAR invested $13 million for emergency procurement of medicines. By now, PEPFAR’s international partners, USAID and the Global Fund, have already agreed on funding for the next two years.

 

 

 

Photos by Evheniy Zavhorodnyy

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