Director of NGO "International Institute for HIV / AIDS and Tuberculosis" Eliot J. Pearlman organized an international conference "On the Future Development of Directions of HIV / AIDS and Tuberculosis Prevention in the Armed Forces of Ukraine", which took place today in Kiev.
Also, the representatives of the PEPFAR project (US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS) have provided assistance in organizing of this conference. Participation in the event was taken by: Dr. Michael Grillo, the head of the Division of DHAP's National Programs, Sten Ito, the representative of the DHAPP Program and the Chief of the Central Sanitary and Epidemiological Department of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Lieutenant Colonel of the Medical Service Lytovka Serhii.
The head of the Central Sanitary and Epidemiological Department of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Lieutenant Colonel of the Medical Service Lytovka Serhii said that the conference was organized by the PERFAR program. This is a program of the President of the United States and is aimed at reducing the incidence of HIV / AIDS, tuberculosis and viral hepatitis worldwide.
During the conference, the participants discussed the promising directions of HIV / AIDS prevention among servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Lytovka Serhii thanked the international partners for their cooperation and provided opportunities for additional training of specialists to fight with the HIV / AIDS epidemic. In particular, he noted:
"This program was actually suspended in 2013. In 2014, when armed aggression and mass mobilization began, the Central Sanitary and Epidemiological Department of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine revealed a large number of soldiers who were infected with hepatitis. We appealed to our US partners with a proposal to reinstate the program and they agreed. Thanks to the collaboration, a general voluntary testing was carried out, measures were taken to inform the personnel on the prevention of AIDS and sexually transmitted infections. And the measures taken today give the results. "
It is important to note that the PEPFAR project is undergoing changes in implementation.
"It is not possible to test everyone for HIV / AIDS year by year. Today, our main task is finding for the most vulnerable audience, which will allow to localize the epidemic, suppress the level of viral load on a person and promote its healthy life without discrimination. such events as this conference contribute to direct communication. This allows us to clearly hear the problems of your audience and understand the needs for addressing the HIV / AIDS epidemic" - shared the goal of the project head of PEPFAR team Michael Grillo.
The PEPFAR project in Ukraine will be implemented by NGO "International Institute for HIV / AIDS and Tuberculosis", headed by Colonel US Army Medical Service (retired) Eliot J. Pearlman. The Institute effectively implements projects to counter the spread of HIV / AIDS, tuberculosis and other diseases in Ukraine since 2002.
"We have experience in Ukraine and implementation of projects on counteraction to the spread of diseases for HIV / AIDS and tuberculosis. Now we have a number of mandatory tasks that will enable us to overcome the HIV / AIDS epidemic in Ukraine and help stop the spread of the disease in the world ", said Eliot J. Pearlman in his speech.
Among such tasks are the following:
- Increase awareness of the Ukrainians and personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine regarding illness, risk of infection and encouragement for testing in order to identify their own status (preventive testing, counseling, establishing bilateral communication between military and civilian AIDS services).
- Establishment of cooperation with the Ministry of Defense for the identification of persons and groups vulnerable to illness, organization of educational campaigns aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles, awareness raising among risk groups regarding the importance of identifying an infection in the early stages of the disease (organization of trainings for medical personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine).
- Establishing a Health Center - platform for sharing knowledge and conducting activities to promote disease prevention and control statistics. Equipping the center with the necessary gadgets for processing and analyzing information and statistics on HIV in Ukraine.
Також під час заходу виступили з доповідями представники медичної служби ЗС України та Служби превентивної медицини Міністерства оборони України, які поділились власними спостереженнями в рамках регіону відповідальності з метою формування єдиної політики з профілактики захворювання на ВІЛ/СНІД та подальшого подолання епідемії.
Also during the event, the representatives of the Medical Service of the Armed Forces of Ukraine delivered their reports, which shared their own observations within the region of responsibility in order to formulate a common policy on the prevention of HIV / AIDS and to further overcome the epidemic.