The International HIV / AIDS and Tuberculosis Institute (IHATI) in cooperation with the Military Medical Service of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and the Sanitary Epidemiological Department (SES) of the MOD conducted the scientific conference "Prevention of Social Diseases (HIV / AIDS, TB) in the Armed Forces of Ukraine" in the conference hall of the Hotel Aleksandrovsk in Odessa, April 27-28, 2016.
Maj S. Litovka the Head of the SES introduced the results of the quality analyses for the last two years of infectious diseases in the Army. The biggest problems are HCV infections, along with the spreading of HIV and HBV infections, which has increased more than ten times among the mobilized Reservists, especially in the ATO Zone. The ATO zone is deemed a high risk area for infections because of poor hygiene caused by unsafe health practices such as risky sexual contact without condoms, unsafe tattooing, drug use, etc..
Also he thanked DHAPP and IHATI for their support: condoms, information-ladened playing cards, and posters which were distributed nation-wide in a timely manner to the key military populations (especially in the ATO Zone). He and many other senior officers rated very highly the playing cards developed by IHATI, as the most useful informational materials, which led the MMD IHATI to provide MMD with additional production run of at least 12,000 decks.
Another speaker the Chief of the Military Clinical Medical Center of the Southern Region (MMCC-S), Col Vesna informed the group that the MMCC-S, has a mobile clinic, which was inherited from the USSR, while old enough, it is still functional and is used for serving soldiers in garrisons.
Also he expressed his readiness to provide that vehicle to the representatives of SES, who will be able to do field sanitation inspections along with other disease control measures: testing for infectious diseases using quick tests in the local garrisons and military units.
Program coordinator in IHATI Ms. Tatyana Bila presented Col (Retired) Eliot Pearlman’s idea about including military personnel as a key population at risk for HIV (Global Fund, UNAIDS). She explained that for the moment members of key populations include the following: Commercial Sex Workers (CSW), IV Drug Users, Men having Sex with Men (MSM) and prisoners. If military personnel will be considered as a Key Population, then MMD may qualify to receive free medical supplies and equipment and may eventually be able to apply directly for international funding.