Where to go for HIV / AIDS testing and get pre-test counseling

According to the Center for Public Health of the Ministry of Health, for the period from 1987 to October 2018, 330,415 cases of HIV infection were officially registered in Ukraine, including 109,437 cases of AIDS and 47,646 deaths from diseases caused by AIDS.

In order to prevent the spread of HIV infection, the state and public organizations implement programs what should promote awareness of the population about the disease, prevention methods and testing to determine the current status of a person.

Today in Ukraine, testing for HIV can be done in almost every health facility. In accordance with the regulatory framework, each person applying for HIV testing must have a pre-test counseling. During the pretest counseling, each person has the opportunity to ask questions and receive information about HIV, how to transfer it, to assess with the specialist the risk of HIV infection and consider the possibilities for its reduction, to receive information about the organizations where other assistance can be obtained, etc. When receiving the test result for HIV infection, the person must be informed about its meaning and post-test counseling.

The national system of voluntary counseling and testing is one of the most advanced components of national HIV / AIDS response in Ukraine.

Counseling and testing in Ukraine is conducted in accordance with:

  • Protocol "The Procedure for Voluntary Counseling and Testing for HIV", approved by the Order of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine No. 415 of 19.08.2005, "On Improvement of Voluntary Counseling and Testing for HIV-infection";
  • Changes to the protocol "On the Procedure for Voluntary Counseling and Testing for HIV", approved by the Order of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine No. 114 of February 14, 2012 "On the organization of providing counseling and testing services for HIV, hepatitis B and C, sexually transmitted infections by";
  • Order of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine No. 388 of 11.05.2010 "On Improving the Diagnosis of HIV Infection".

According to the Order of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine dated May 11, 2010, No. 388, starting 01.01.2011, the "Ukrainian Center for the Control of Socially Dangerous Diseases of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine", and now the State Health Center "Center for Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine" collects and summarizes the data in the form of reporting №3 - HIV/AIDS (quarterly) "Report on counseling in connection with testing for HIV infection".

Get tested for HIV and receive advice in Kiev can be at the following locations:

  • Cabinet of Trust (Kyiv City Center for AIDS Prevention and Control): Kyiv, st. Triohsviatytel's'ka, 7 (subway station: Independence Square, European Square).
  • Cabinet of Trust (Kyiv City Center for AIDS Prevention and Control): Kyiv, st. Vidpochinku, 11 (subway station: Svyatoshyn, Troll №7), in the premises of ML number 5, infectious building, 1 floor.
  • Cabinet of Trust (Kyiv City Center for AIDS Prevention and Control): Kyiv, st. Borispilska, 30/a, in the premises of the clinic №2 of the Darnytskyi district, 2nd floor (subway station: Chernihivska, tram №22).
  • Cabinet of Trust (Kyiv City AIDS Center): Kyiv, Vysotsky Boulevard, 8, in the skin trunk clinic №2 (subway station: Chernihivska, Petrivka).
  • Laboratory for the Prevention and Control of AIDS City Sanitary and Epidemiological Station: Kyiv, st. Estonian, 3 (subway station: Nyvky, troll number 5, 26). 

Opportunistic infections: prevention and diagnosis

The Human Immunodeficiency virus does not lead to a lethal consequence in an HIV-infected person. It strikes and gradually destroys cells of the human immune system that protect the body from infections. HIV leads to the development of AIDS for 8-10 years. As a result, a complex of diseases is formed that develop as a result of the destruction of the immune system. These diseases are caused by infections that called opportunistic infections. 

Opportunistic infections - medical term that refers to infectious diseases caused by microorganisms that are usually not able to cause the disease in a person with a healthy immune system, but can develop in people with impaired immunity, for example, in HIV infected people. 

Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of opportunistic infections (OI) is an important component of comprehensive medical care for people with HIV and is carried out by all units of medical care in accordance with the possibilities and profile of a medical institution.

The Center of Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine notes the following features of the course of opportunistic infections:

- dissemination of the pathogen with its definition in various organs;
- poorly subjected to specific therapy, often relapsed;
- a weak specific immune response to an opportunistic pathogen.

The most common opportunistic infections in the European region and in Ukraine are: tuberculosis, bacterial infections, pneumonia, herpes infections (peptic ulcer, herpes infections caused by HHV-1, HHV-2 and HHV-5), candidiasis esophagitis, cryptococcal meningitis, toxoplasmosis.

In the case of the detection of an infection or disease that is common in patients with HIV in a person with unknown status, it is urgent to provide him with advice and testing in accordance with the national protocol on VCT. The doctor have to explain to the patient the importance of testing and establishing an appropriate status for the choice of treatment, but the patient has the right to refuse it.

The initial assessment of the patient's health should include:

- pre-test counseling;
- conducting blood tests for the determination of antibodies to HIV;
- post-test counseling (regardless of the result);
- examination of the patient;
- laboratory and instrumental studies: general blood test, general urine analysis, biochemical blood tests (ALT, AST, bilirubin, creatinine), serological tests (markers of viral hepatitis, syphilis, gonorrhea and Ch.trachomatis, IgG antibodies to T .gondii, Cryptococcus antigen titre, CMV infection research), instrumental studies (chest x-ray, ultrasound examination);
- review by "narrow" specialists (by indications).

The main thing about HIV / AIDS

HIV / AIDS prevention becomes easier when you know more about the nature of disease.

AIDS is described as a plague of the twentieth century, but in the 21st century it threatens the existence of mankind. Despite the constant work on the creation of drugs that would help completely get rid of the disease, the comforting result is still not enough.

That is why the main task of each person is prevention.

HIV is a human immunodeficiency virus, and AIDS is a complex reaction of the organism to an infectious disease that develops. Getting into the human body, the DNA of the virus comes in contact with the DNA of the host. When the immune system begins to produce antibodies, the virus actively mutated. HIV is an initial disease, and AIDS is the final stage of HIV infection.

HIV is contained in human biological fluids: blood (including menstrual), sperm, vaginal secretions, and also in maternal milk. Infection occurs only when these liquids enter the body.

The main ways of HIV transmission are:

  • Unprotected sex
  • Sharing tools for injection. Very rarely, HIV transmission occurs as a result of occupational injuries in health care workers (needle shot or cut by scalpel).
  • From mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.
    Stages of HIV infection:
  • Asymptomatic stage (duration from 3 to 15 years): a person is clinically healthy, but due to the presence of HIV in the body is able to infect others.
  • Stage of generalized lymphadenopathy. There is a steady increase in lymph nodes in different parts of the human body for at least 3 months.
  • Stage of AIDS-Associated Complex. Reduces body mass, chronic fatigue, drowsiness, nocturnal sweating, fever, itching of the skin and mucous membranes, including the eyes, increase in the spleen.
  • The stage is actually AIDS. With a gradual decrease in immunity there is a defeat of vital systems of the human body with concomitant diseases.

In Ukraine, people usually die from tuberculosis, pneumonia and cancer-induced tumors caused by AIDS. Even if an HIV-positive person feels well, the presence of HIV in her body means that there will eventually be a vulnerability to infections that people with intact immune systems can easily cope with.

Therefore, it is vital for HIV-positive people to take care of their own health: to abandon substances that suppress the immune system (tobacco, alcohol / drugs), to avoid stress, to engage in sports, to eat properly, to be observed regularly by a doctor in the local AIDS center, and also, if necessary, to start special treatment on time.

The basis for HIV / AIDS prevention is a healthy lifestyle, respect for personal hygiene rules, and the protection of sexual relations, which is facilitated by the full awareness of the population about HIV infection and the mechanisms for its transmission.

According to the legislation of Ukraine, anyone can go through voluntary testing for HIV. Before and after the examination, a specialist is being consulted.

You can learn more about it here.

The methodical manual for the prevention of tuberculosis already performs its functions

The Directorate of the International Institute of HIV / AIDS and Tuberculosis sincerely congratulates all personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine on the Day of Defender of Ukraine. We are grateful for your dignity and patriotism, public activity and dedication and love for Ukraine.

Taking this opportunity we would like to inform you that the first copy of manual on the prevention of tuberculosis has already been received by the personnel of two military mobile hospitals performing tasks in the area of the United forces operation.

The booklet provides brief information abought healthy individuals avoid infection with a TB agent and briefly describes the current presentation of tuberculosis epidemiology. This information will be useful for patients and their relatives and staff conducting controlled outpatient treatment.

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