The first European Conference on hepatitis C will call to policy makers to ensure better access to treatment for the most-at-risk groups.
Today the hepatitis C virus (HCV) affects an estimated 9 million of European citizens. People who inject drugs, or who injected in their past,are the largest group with estimated prevalence rates in some European countries up to 90%. In other populations such as among "men who have sex with men (MSM)", infection rates are also rising rapidly. Without proper treatment HCV can be a serious and even deadly disease.
The 1st European conference will bring together key actors on HCV, including drug user community representatives, harm reduction experts, health care professionals, pharmaceutical companies, researchers and policy makers to develop pathways for effective health responses and to open treatment for those who need it. One of the highlights during the conference will be the presentation of the 'Berlin Declaration', a pressing call to national and European policy makers, to ensure better access and quality of hepatitis treatment for the most marginalised groups and individuals.
The conference will take place on 22-24 October, 2014.
22.04.2014 Alliance Ukraine co-hosts TB Regional Network meeting
On 21-25 April, the first TB Regional Network meeting is being held in Kyiv.
Co-organized by Alliance Ukraine in collaboration with TB Europe Coalition funded by Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the event is hosting participants from 12 countries of Eastern Europe & Central Asia (EECA) - advocates, people living with TB, representatives of civil society organizations (CSOs) for GF Sub-recipients (SRs) or Sub-sub-recipients.
The focus of the TB Regional Network Meeting will be on training the participants on the New Funding Model recently implemented by the GF. It should help activists and civil society organizations to participate more meaningfully and effectively in GF processes in their countries, as well as network regionally. As a result, they activists can strengthen their capacity to advocate for the meaningful engagement of CSOs in the GF process regionally including issues of domestic finance.
The regional format enables the participants to connect, to share best practices and to identify the needs of civil society organizations in further capacity building.
The project “Improving capacity of CSOs to have meaningful involvement in TB epidemic response” is funded by GIZ and Implemented by Alliance Ukraine and in collaboration with TB Europe Coalition (TBEC). The project activities are aimed at improving capacity of CSOs to have meaningful involvement in TB epidemic response.
10.04.2014 WHO published first viral hepatitis C diagnostics and treatment guidelines
WHO guidelines are nine key recommendations based on best practices and latest scientific evidence in viral hepatitis treatment field. Alliance-Ukraine participated in their development and finalization. The experience gained within the framework of “Demanding Treatment” campaign proved valuable on the global level.
Members of the WHO Strategic Committee on Hepatitis have also developed recommendations on the WHO guidelines implementation. These two WHO documents are important for further work in the hepatitis sphere, in particular, for development and implementation of modifications to the existing hepatitis programs, including the State Program, with regard to cooperation with key responsible officials on the oblast, local and national level, in work with doctors, for consolidation of civil society, government and pharmaceutical manufacturers efforts.
Alliance-Ukraine participated in their development and finalization. The experience gained within the framework of “Demanding Treatment!” campaign proved valuable on the global level.
Full text of guidelines in English
02.04.2014 Results of the campaign dedicated to the World TB Day, held on March 24-26, 2014
This year the event was conducted by Rinat Akhmetov's Foundation "Development of Ukraine" together with the Department of Health of KCSA, TMO "Ftisiatria", ICF "International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine", the Red Cross Society in Ukraine.
During 3 days 399 people passed screening on the base of modern mobile digital fluoromobiles at the railway station “South” in Kyiv. Changes in the lungs were identified in 93 persons, 6 of them had TB infection, 9 had cancers and 78 had pneumonia and other chronic lung diseases.
People who had changes in the lungs had an opportunity to visit phthisiatrician for consultation and pass TB screening at Kiev TB dispensary, equipped with modern diagnostic equipment.
Also, everyone was given the opportunity to be screened for HIV/STI/hepatitis using rapid tests in a mobile lab of the Kiev-based NGO "Club Eney".
146 tests were conducted. The results showed that 2 persons had HIV and 1 person had syphilis. People being tested received information about how and where to apply for confirmation of the result and subsequent medical supervision.
Dissemination of condoms and information materials on HIV, TB and viral hepatitis was also carried out as a part of the campaign.
March 24 - Ukrainian and World TB Day
On World TB Day, the Alliance calls for access to prevention and treatment of this disease to all who need it
To World TB Day (March24), Rinat Akhmetov's Foundation "Development of Ukraine" under the Program "Stop TB in Ukraine" holds its traditional campaign on free anonymous and safe screening on the base of modern mobile digital fluoromobiles.
Everybody can pass free X-ray screening from 24 to 28 of March according to the following schedule: Kiev: March 24 • South Railway Station (in front of main entrance), from 10:30 to 18:00 (lunch break from 13:00 to 14:00). March 25 • South Railway Station (in front of main entrance), from 09:00 to 18:00 (lunch break from 13:00 to 14:00). • Bus station "Podol " (15A Nizhniy Val, st.), from 09:00 to 18:00 (lunch break from 13:00 to 14:00). March 26 • South Railway Station (in front of main entrance), from 09:00 to 18:00 (lunch break from 13:00 to 14:00). • Central Bus Station (1/2 Nauky ave), from 09:00 to 18:00 (lunch break from 13:00 to 14:00). March 27 and 28 • 38, Khreschatyk st. (near Central Department Store), from 09:00 to 18:00 (lunch from 13:00 to 14:00).
ICF "International HIV / AIDS Alliance in Ukraine" organizes activities on primary diagnosis and prevention of HIV, consultation and dissemination of information materials on HIV, TB and viral hepatitis.
Counseling and testing for HIV will be conducted in a mobile van of Alliance using rapid tests. 24 -26.03.2014 from 12.00 to 16.00 at South Railway Station (in front of main entrance)
About 800 substitution therapy patients may become the first refugees from the Crimea!
As of today the stock of medicines for opioid substitution therapy (OST) available on the peninsula, i.e. methadone and buprenorphine, is sufficient for several weeks only. In Sevastopol the situation is the most critical, as OST sites in this city were compelled to start decreasing patients’ dosage. As you know, OST and medicines for it are prohibited in Russian Federation, thus these drugs may be supplied only from the inland part of Ukraine. Since all the highways to the Crimea are now being blocked by armed men, medicines supply is impossible (each batch of the narcotic drugs must be attended by an armed police squad).
In the Crimea OST has been implemented for 9 years already, almost 800 drug dependent patients daily receive the respective treatment on the basis of local healthcare facilities in Simferopol, Sevastopol, Yalta, Eupatoria, Feodosia, Kerch and other cities. Depriving the patients of this life-saving treatment could cause a social outburst. OST termination in the Crimea due to the medicines stock depletion and therapy provision discontinuation can make hundreds of patients and their families to flee from the peninsula.
Yesterday ICF “International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine” officially appealed to the Crimean government with the request to promptly settle this serious issue. Being an international non-governmental organization, the Alliance is ready to act as an intermediary between the authorized bodies of Ukraine and the Crimea in order to provide as soon as possible a humanitarian supply of medicines to cover OST needs for the next 6 months.
We call on the representatives of the new Crimean government to prevent adverse consequences, demonstrate humanism and instantly start organizing the medicines supply!
10.02.2014 Alliance Marks Its 20th Anniversary
The Secretariat of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance based in Brighton, UK, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this week. The anniversary will be marked with a three-day convention focusing on the theme of Together To End AIDS. The convention kicks off with a parliamentary reception at the House of Lords, hosted by one of the Alliance’s staunchest supporters Lord Fowler, Head of the Special Commission on HIV/AIDS.
Some 80 delegates from all round the world will be coming together this week to reflect on the global HIV epidemic to date and the action still needed to accelerate efforts to end AIDS once and for all. Notable speakers include Senegal’s Minister for Health, Professor Awa Marie Coll-Seck; UNAIDS US Director Simon Bland and Dr. Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
According to the Alliance’s Executive Director, Alvaro Bermejo: “I’m proud to represent the Alliance in its 20th year and am thrilled that so many of our partners from overseas will be able to join us for this very special occasion. It’s thanks to them that we have managed to make headway in combating HIV, however there’s still a long road ahead.”
In 1994, the Alliance established its first HIV prevention, treatment, care and support programmes in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Senegal. The organization now works in partnership with national civil society organizations in 40 countries across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2012 the charity reached more than 4.7 million people, including nearly a million with sexual and reproductive health services.
21.01.2014 Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation was signed between the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine and International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine for 2014-2016
In virtue of this document the SPS management commits to support the programs of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and C, sexually transmitted infections (STI) prevention and treatment in the penitentiary institutions and facilities in all Ukraine. The Memorandum will facilitate more efficient interaction of the SPS central office and regional divisions, international donors and civil society organizations within the framework of the implementation of State Target Social Program for Combating HIV/AIDS for 2014-2018, Concept of Implementation of the State Policy on Countering Drug Abuse and Illegal Circulation of Drugs and Precursors for 2011-2015 and the Concept of State Target Social Program for Combating Tuberculosis for 2012-2016 approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
Principal cooperation line is the prevention of HIV/AIDS, TB, viral Hepatitis, STI among the persons registered with the Probationary Inspection, through which more than 300,000 persons circulate annually. According to the estimates, 30% of them are people who inject drugs.
Moreover, taking into account the penitentiary system reforming and the outlook for probationary service establishment, a separate provision and annex to the Memorandum envisages such innovative cooperation format as organization of daytime centers, where the work with clients is grounded on case management and harm reduction principles; most importantly, these centers will operate on the basis of Probationary Inspection subdivisions specially prepared for these purposes by the Alliance.
For 7 years Alliance Ukraine in cooperation with the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine and in partnership with regional NGOs has been implementing HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment projects among the prisoners. During 2006-2012 more than 146 000 of the inmates were covered with the services.