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Smart technologies save lives: patients teach doctors tolerance

Today, February 6, 2020, the final meeting on the project “Smart technologies save lives” took place. During the event, the following results of the project were presented: an online training course for family doctors on combating stigma and discrimination titled “HIV: tolerance and hope”, placed on the website of the Public Health Center of the MOH of Ukraine; a map of friendly doctors; the “HIV-test bot” chatbot and online-test for HIV risk on hivtest.com.ua

The uniqueness of these three products lies in the fact that digital solutions will allow us to reach more people with testing, establishing their HIV status, enrollment into treatment programs and therefore reach the first two goals of UNAIDS 90/90/90.Only doctors who have successfully completed the course can be added to the friendly doctors map. Thus, we clearly understand that only doctors understanding all the intricacies of interacting with PLHIV and key populations work with them.Our digital system works as follows: Chatbot evaluates risk behavior with regard to HIV, refers to testing points map; in case of a positive test result, it provides the opportunity to choose a doctor on the map of friendly doctors who are certified to provide medical assistance to PLHIV and key-populations.The next step is to link this system with monitoring the quality of services provided and the effectiveness of HIV treatment. To be continued …

Roman Gaylevich, Head of UNAIDS in Ukraine, said, “This is an example of fruitful cooperation between the All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV and the United Nations Population Fund, supported by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, which can serve as a good illustration how the “Nothing for us without us!” principle can be implemented in practice. It was the people living with HIV who initiated and created the course aimed at reducing stigma and discrimination against this group of patients. I hope this course will be in demand not only for family doctors but also for other primary care specialists.”

UNFPA Assistant Representative in Ukraine Pavlo Zamostian added, “We support health care reform and the achievement of the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets, in particular through the creation and implementation of models and tools that provide this opportunity. The online course and platform presented today will help doctors eliminate harmful discriminatory stereotypes about key HIV risk groups and increase the number of people who will be timely tested for HIV. ”

“We, as a patients’ organization, do not expect any mercy of the state,” emphasized Anastasia Dieieva, Executive Director of “100% Life”, “We ourselves create products that help our patients. The course we developed is the first precedent when a product of a non-governmental organization is placed on an official government resource and serves as a training tool for family doctors.”

Valeria Rachinska, Head of Regional Policy Team, said, “In total, there are 22 training courses for doctors on the PHC website; one of them is ours. It is a live product that will be complemented and evolved. Our most important victory is that this product has been accredited by the state, which means the usefulness and timeliness of this course for family doctors. We are very grateful to the state for its sensitive approach to the problem of stigma and discrimination among family doctors – today 600 doctors have already received their certificates, 270 have added their information to the map and their number is growing every day.”

The participants highly appreciated the project results. Later at the meeting, community representatives discussed the possibilities to continue and develop the project, the necessary points, new courses for doctors, taking into account the needs of vulnerable groups.

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