The presence of STI significantly increases the risk of transmission and infection of HIV

 

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are a national health problem in Ukraine. According to the Ministry of Health in Ukraine annually, about 400 thousand new cases of syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, genitourinary mycoplasmosis, genital candidiasis and trichomoniasis are registered. The official statistic reflects, from various estimates, from 30% to 40% of the actual number of cases of STIs.

The STI problem can not be separated from the HIV / AIDS epidemic in Ukraine, as one of the main ways of transmission of HIV is sexually transmitted. According to statistics, today, the proportion of HIV infections due to the injection of narcotic drugs has resulted in the incidence of fatal sexually transmitted infections. This necessitates the intensification of STI diagnostic and treatment activities in risk groups for HIV in order to prevent the further spread of HIV in Ukraine.

According to research, the presence of STI significantly increases the risk of transmission and infection of HIV by sexually transmitted. In particular, HIV transmission is facilitated by syphilis, genital herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, candidiasis, mycoplasmosis, and other sexually transmitted infections. Erosion and ulcers, inflammation, tissue damage caused by STIs, weaken the factors protecting the body from HIV infection.

But the infection can be warned. Barrier contraceptive methods are the best protection against many STIs, including HIV and hepatitis. With proper and sustainable use, condoms are one of the most effective ways to protect against infection and preventing unwanted pregnancy. However, it should be borne in mind that a condom does not guarantee 100% of the result, as there is always the risk of its misuse, poor quality or damage to the integrity, so it is worth visiting the doctor for examination at least once a year.

HIV Medical Information System - A New Attitude to Addressing the Problem of HIV Infection in Ukraine

In Ukraine, more than 40% of people with HIV do not know about their status. As of 01.01.2019, were 242,000 people living with HIV in Ukraine, of whom 40.3% received ART, and 35.9% received ART for more than six months and reached an uncertain level of viral load.

At the beginning of 2018, in Ukraine in medical institutions were registered 141 371 people. The coverage rate of PLHIV who are aware of their status under medical surveillance has reached 79%, but almost half of the people with the first-ever HIV-infection go to medical institutions already at III-IV clinical stages.

One of the major problems in the fight against HIV infection in Ukraine is the lack of a unified approach to the mechanism for collecting and processing information in public health facilities at the national, regional and local levels.

In connection with this, the Center for Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine initiated the development and implementation of the Medical Information System for HIV (MIS). The MIS of HIV includes the creation of a single data warehouse for epidemiological surveillance of HIV / AIDS, the results of medical observation for PLHIV, which will facilitate the optimization of monitoring and evaluation, planning of procurement, accounting and control of medical products. 

The development of the MIS of HIV included the following goals:

  • increasing the accuracy of medical information about patients and minimizing mistakes;
  • collecting and storing information about the health of PLHIV and the medical services provided to them;
  • optimizing budget management and monitoring logistics of ARVs;
  • provide the doctor with relevant data on the health of PLHIV in time;
  • providing information support to the system of epidemiological surveillance and clinical monitoring.

During the development of the MIS of HIV, particular attention was paid to data protection in accordance with the requirements of Ukrainian legislation. In order to protect against unauthorized access, deletion, distortion of data or loss of access to them, an integrated information security system was developed.

At the national level, the system allows for the introduction of a unified approach to the codification of PLHIV, avoiding multiple registration, controlling the needs for medicines and medical products, and increasing the efficiency and reliability of information on the state of the HIV epidemic in Ukraine. At the local level, the use of the system guarantees a reduction in the number of errors during the filling of medical records and the efficiency of the exchange of information. At the regional level - it makes it possible to record and audit medical products and medical devices in the medical center.

The benefit of fast HIV tests is confirmed by statistics

HIV infection is a chronic infectious disease that occurs as a result of human infection with a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which results is the destruction of cells of the immune system. In order to determine whether an infected person or not, it is necessary to pass HIV testing.

Confirm the presence of HIV in the human body or its absence can only by a special test.

The essence of the HIV test is that it responds to a sufficient amount of antibodies in the blood that is produced in the body for a certain time in the presence of the virus. This period is 3-6 months after infection. If during such research the test will show a positive result, additional (confirmatory) tests should be performed. Only after this doctor can assert the presence of HIV infection in humans. 

Two types of tests are used to detect HIV antibodies in Ukraine:

  • Express tests (quick tests) that allow you to get the result after 15-20 minutes without the use of special equipment. For this test blood is taken from the finger.
  • IFA tests are conducted only in special laboratories. For this, venous blood is used. Testing is done voluntarily, according to the personal needs of a person.

 

Through rapid HIV tests, the number of HIV-positive people detected over the past three years has increased from 2,665 to 7,800. More than a third of all PLHIV (34.1% of the total) have learned about their status precisely because of rapid testing. This demonstrates the high level of public confidence in anonymous quick tests and their outcomes. Preventive programs using rapid tests are aimed primarily at key groups for the transmission of HIV and patients with clinical manifestations of the disease.

Free rapid HIV tests are available in all regions of Ukraine controlled by the government. You can be tested in a special center or with help of your family doctor, therapist or pediatrician. Testing lasts about 15 minutes, of which 10 - the expectation of the result.

If HIV is diagnosed on time, you can save quality and high-quality lives through antiretroviral therapy. Ukraine fully provides free treatment for all patients with HIV. It is worth recalling that more than 40% of HIV-infected Ukrainians do not know about their status.

STRATEGIC PLAN TO ENSURE SUSTANABILITY OF INTEGRATED BIO-BEHAVIORAL SURVEY IN UKRAINE (2018–2021)

According to the European Center of Disease Control and Prevention and the European Regional Office of the World Health Organization, the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which Ukraine also belongs to, is the only one in the world where the number of new cases of HIV infection and deaths from AIDS continues to increase

In the beginning of 2018th, there were 244,000 HIV-positive people in Ukraine. It means that every 100th of a citizen of Ukraine 15-49 years old is infected with HIV/ This is one of the highest rates among the countries of the region. As of 01.01.2019, in the health care facilities of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, there were 142 061 HIV-infected Ukrainian citizens (336.5 per 100 000 population) under medical supervision, including 46 380 AIDS patients (109.9).

Effective overcoming of the HIV epidemic requires timely and reliable information on the prevalence of HIV among key population groups (CGs). Integrated bio-behavioral research (IBPD) is a strategically important public health tool that provides an integrated assessment of the HIV epidemic process among the COs and provides quality information for the planning and implementation of preventive and anti-epidemic measures.

We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the Strategic Plan for ensuring the sustainability of integrated bio-behavioral research in Ukraine (2018-2021), developed at the initiative of the Center for Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine in the framework of the SILab project "Support for the HIV Surveillance System and the Quality Management / Quality Improvement Laboratories of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, Improvement using strategic information and building public health potential. "

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