The final conference about the results of the pilot project “Constancy of HIV-services in Cherkasy region” was held on November 16, 2017 in Cherkassy. The meeting was attended by experts from USAID project “HIV Reform in Action”, representatives of Cherkasy Oblast, Kaniv and Kanivsky District, specialists of profile structures and experts in the project “Constancy of HIV-services in Cherkasy region”.

Since April 2016, a pilot project has been implemented by “From Heart to Heart” charity organization with the support of the USAID Project “HIV Reform in Action”. The pilot was implemented in Kaniv and Kanivsky districts, as it is precisely in these regions that about 30 new cases of the disease are detected each year, which is 5% of the total number of infected people in Cherkasy oblast.

“In Cherkasy region, various measures to fight the spread of HIV have been implemented for many years. But the programs that target people who are more vulnerable to HIV infection are the most effective. Unfortunately, the Kaniv district and the city have a critical situation in the spread of HIV. Now, thanks to the help of international organizations and the support of the authorities, Cherkasy region has introduced modern approaches to prevention, diagnosis and treatment of HIV/AIDS” – said Vitaliy Koval, the first deputy chairman of the Regional State Administration.

The provision of HIV Services project focused on expanding HIV testing, substitution maintenance therapy (SMT) through the creation of a SMT site, and the mobilization of local HIV funding and the introduction of direct funding mechanisms for HIV prevention programs from local budgets through implementation of the social order mechanism.

It should be noted that the positive results of the project partially take over in other areas. Thus, at the expense of the local budget at the Zhashkivsky Central District Hospital, the first SMT cabinet was opened for vulnerable groups of the population. The cabinet of SMT was created on the basis of the model of the Kaniv substitution maintenance treatment room. Also, the project materials were used to open the pilot city / rayon ART site on the base of the Smiliansky city policlinic, which serves residents of the city of Smila and Smiliansky district.

“We see that the project has shown its effectiveness and efficiency, because in addition to helping people of vulnerable categories, we have also shown how successful the cooperation of different structures can be if we have an important goal. It is also nice that the project’s results are of interest to other regions that have already started to implement our work. We hope that such an experience of cooperation and cooperation will be implemented at the level of the entire oblast” – summarizes Natalia Nesvat, head of the charity organization ” From Heart to Heart “.

The Deputy Head of the Project on technical issues/Senior Health Policy Advisor Alexey Yaremenko also added: “The project “HIV reform in action “will not dwell on the results achieved and aims to spread successful experience in ensuring the sustainability of HIV services to the entire region. We saw that the decentralization of HIV testing services, the integration of vital services with HIV in one place yields results – a patient is interested in getting the full range of necessary services in one place in the area where he lives and this motivates him to stay in treatment, which is extremely important for the achievement of the goals of overcoming the epidemic.”

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