A round table on the specifics of providing services to HIV-infected servicemen took place in Kyiv

On September 23, a round table was held on the topic: "Peculiarities of providing a package of services to HIV-infected servicemen during the COVID-19 pandemic"

The event was organized by the International NGO "International Institute of HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis". Representatives of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, non-governmental organizations working in the field of HIV / AIDS, etc. took part in the discussion.

During the round table, was discussed the status of providing a package of services to servicemen with HIV / AIDS during the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization of HIV index testing and the procedure of cooperation between medical units of the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine on a patient-centered basis. Each of the participants shared their experience of working in a pandemic.

Thus, Tetyana Krasnopolska, a doctor-methodologist of the Department for Coordination of the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, analyzed national recommendations for providing a package of services to HIV-infected people, as well as organizing HIV prevention and testing during the epidemic COVID -19. In turn, Svitlana Yesypenko, director of the Odessa Regional Center for Socially Significant Diseases, spoke about the organization of index testing for HIV partners of HIV-infected people in the Odessa region, in particular, among servicemen and noted the effectiveness of the approach chosen by the organization. Daria Dobroshtan, Officer of the Epidemiological Department of the Sanitary and Epidemiological Department of the Armed Forces Command, shared her experience in using EpiInfo software in the epidemiological surveillance system in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and its successful involvement in further analysis of HIV / AIDS data. 

As a result of cooperation and effective communication during the round table, a plan of priority measures to combat the spread of HIV, tuberculosis and viral hepatitis B and C among servicemen was formed and approved. Adherence to this plan will help reduce the risk of infection among certain groups, including servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Why is it important to get vaccinated against tuberculosis?

The main signs of tuberculosis are cough for more than two weeks, malaise, weakness, weight loss, night sweats, prolonged subfibrillation. It should be noted that this condition can last quite a long time. To avoid tuberculosis, you should first of all take care of yourself, your immunity, try to lead a healthy lifestyle and when the above symptoms do not delay a visit to the doctor.

"There is a vaccine against tuberculosis. Vaccination is carried out with BCG vaccine for 3-5 days after the birth of a child, it prevents severe and generalized forms of tuberculosis in children, due to which they may die or remain disabled. Unfortunately, in the future, this vaccine does not save from infection or disease "- says pediatric tuberculosis and pediatric pulmonologist, chief specialist in pediatric tuberculosis Julia Letz

According to her, at risk are children and adolescents who are in direct contact with patients with open tuberculosis, and children who have not been vaccinated at birth with BCG vaccine. Also at risk are people of all ages with chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, systemic diseases and all conditions characterized by a significant decrease in the patient's immunity.

Do not forget that tuberculosis can be not only the lungs but also all organs and systems: central nervous system, bones, skin, eyes, genitourinary system, several organs can be involved in the process simultaneously. Therefore it is necessary to treat tuberculosis carefully, following all recommendations of the phthisiologist who selects the scheme and a treatment mode according to features of each patient and sensitivity of its activator. After all, the most terrible to date is tuberculosis with the so-called broad drug resistance. It is dangerous for life not to treat tuberculosis at any stage, because as it progresses, it can very quickly lead to death.

Note that tuberculosis causes the death of more than 1.5 million people annually. This is more than from any other infectious disease.

For the first time in history, the process of death of a cell infected with tuberculosis was filmed

A group of researchers from the Norwegian University of Natural and Technical Sciences (NTNU) first filmed the infection killing cells and spreading through the body.

Norwegian experts filmed the infected cells for 24 hours and saw how it die. Bacteria begin to multiply rapidly and rupture cells from within, and then spread throughout the body, causing inflammation that damages the lung tissue. The person begins to cough and thus spreads the infection.

"Bacteria work in two modes: in one they divide and multiply, hiding inside the cell in which they live, in the other - they break out and infect healthy tissues," says Professor Helen Flo of the Center for Molecular Research in Inflammation NTNU.

In addition, it turned out that the tubercle bacillus can live a long time in the body, deceiving the immune system: it hides inside macrophages, which, in fact, just have to find and destroy it. Scientists believe that their discovery will help create a new type of treatment.

"It could control cell's death and tissue damage caused by bacteria. In combination with antibiotics, this method would be extremely effective," says Flo.

A course to optimize investment in the fight against HIV in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Due to the fact that the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is gradually reducing funding for epidemic programs in the region, the country are looking for ways to more effectively invest available domestic resources in this area, says UNAIDS on website.

"These changes are based on epidemiological and economic arguments. The economies of these countries is much better than the world average, so we expect that the region will increasingly deal with the existing burden of the disease on their own. The key task of the Global Fund, UNAIDS and other partners at this stage is to strengthen national measures and reduce the problem to a size that governments can handle on their own."- explains Dumitru Laticevschi, Regional Manager for the Eastern Europe and Central Asia Group of the Global Fund.

In a 2014 study of the effectiveness of HIV resource allocation in the EECA region, countries were encouraged to prioritize investment in the most cost-effective strategies, including updating HIV testing and treatment protocols, reducing treatment costs, and optimizing service delivery. The research is based on data from Mathematical Modeling Optima HIV, which has been used in more than 60 countries around the world to determine the most effective investment related to HIV.

A new wave of allocative research was recently completed in 11 countries in the region (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Romania, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan). Individual reports with a set of recommendations for each country are available, as well as a regional report with aggregate analysis results for eleven countries.

"We provided technical support for the analytical work," - said Sherrie Kelly, head of the Burnett Institute's HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria Program. - The data and the research results belong to the countries themselves. We only offer mathematical models. "

The modeling is based on demographic, epidemiological, behavioral and other data, as well as on cost estimates provided by national partners. The software component of costs and the algorithm of optimization of resources are superimposed on the model of epidemic. The results are intensively discussed and confirmed by national teams and key stakeholders from the respective countries. The UNAIDS Secretariat facilitates the whole process to further strengthen the capacity of national partners to optimize health care costs.

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