The International HIV / AIDS and Tuberculosis Institute is doing everything it can to help prevent the spread of infection in East

For five years, part of Ukraine has been in a state of armed conflict.  Military personnel and civilians are killed, buildings are destroyed, the transport system is damaged, and the communication system is broken.

In turn, the health care system has suffered considerable damage due to the conflict in the East. As a result of the conflict, rural medical facilities in the government-controlled territory were isolated from large medical centers located in urban areas outside the government-controlled territory. The high level of danger and limited access to specialized healthcare facilities and pharmacies have undermined the ability of the healthcare system to meet both new and existing health care needs, especially the needs of people living in rural areas.

More than 5.2 million people have been directly affected by the effects of the conflict, 3.2 million live within 20 km of the demarcation line, and an estimated 1.37 million are registered as IDPs. Between January 1 and June 30, 2019, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights recorded 91 civilian casualties in the conflict: 13 people were killed and 78 injured. The issues of protection and access to health care are of particular concern, as 30% of victims are elderly (60 years of age and older) and 60% are women and children.

According to HelpAgeInternational, 97% of people have at least one chronic illness and more than half (53%) need assistive devices. The vast majority (96%) reported having a mental health problem caused by the conflict. More than 240,000 children living near the demarcation line are regularly exposed to fire and land mines and unexploded ordnance. As a result of conflict, stress, lack of access to adequate food and medical services, children and their families are at greater risk of developing health problems - from trauma to infectious diseases.

With the onset of the armed conflict, there has been a surge in the spread of HIV. There was a sharp threat of uncontrolled expansion of the geography of the disease. In order to improve the situation of combating HIV infection and other socially dangerous infectious diseases among the servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine at the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the International Institute for HIV / AIDS and Tuberculosis has decided to introduce new and strengthen the already introduced infection programs

Cooperation with Preventive Medicine Service of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine has been fruitful. Improving the quality and effectiveness of testing and counseling in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and improving the knowledge of medical personnel of the Ministry of Defense Healthcare institutions in implementing program interventions using HIV / AIDS testing and counseling were a priority task from 2016 to 2019.

Thus, in 2017, with the support of the DHAPP PEPFAR project, 60,000 units of immunochromatic one-stage tests were tested for early diagnosis of HIV / AIDS among military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. HIV and 25,000 different types of sanitary and educational typographic materials for health care facilities within the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

In 2019, charity assistance in the form of 15,000 rapid immunochromatographic tests, in a convenient one-step test format, was provided to qualitatively identify markers of hepatitis C and B, HIV infection and syphilis in whole blood, serum or human plasma.

In September 2019, the Immunological Analyzer “Architect i1000 SR” was purchased by the International HIV / AIDS and Tuberculosis Institute. This equipment allows HIV testing of about 100 blood samples per week, and can be increased several times if necessary

In addition, to increase awareness of the Armed Forces of Ukraine personnel and to increase adherence to healthy lifestyles, a number of unified QR codes, which have been implemented to facilitate access to health education and disease prevention.

Also, with the financial support of the International Institute for HIV / AIDS and Tuberculosis, from 2016 to 2019, were conducted professional trainings and scientific conferences on HIV / AIDS prevention and other transmissible infections  for medical specialists, which significantly increased continuity of services provided to military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in departmental health care institutions.

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