A training for military clergy took place in Kyiv

On September 22-23 in Kyiv, representatives of the International Institute for HIV / AIDS and Tuberculosis organized a training "HIV infection. Testing with rapid tests", organized for the military clergy (military chaplains). 19 people took part in the training.

The main purpose of the event was to determine the level of awareness of the military clergy on HIV / AIDS, to improve skills in counseling on HIV and to develop individual skills of spiritual support for HIV-infected servicemen.

Experts were involved in the training who have been working for many years in the field of combating the spread of HIV / AIDS in Ukraine, in particular, Natalia Kozhan, a lecturer at the PL Shupik National University of Health of Ukraine; microbiologist of the laboratory department of the microbiological clinic of laboratory diagnostics of the National Military Medical Clinical Center "Main Military Clinical Hospital" Olga Stas and Archpriest Leontiy Nykytenko.

Participants of theoretical and practical classes discussed the epidemiology of HIV infection; ways of HIV transmission; rights and responsibilities of HIV-infected people; stigma and discrimination, as well as their prevention; spiritual support for HIV-infected servicemen and more



Dr. Eliot J. Pearlman, noted expert on HIV/AIDs has died in Kyiv at age 85

Eliot Pearlman, born in the US to a family with Ukrainian roots, was educated in the US and Switzerland as a pediatrician. However, after being drafted into the US Army at the time of the Korean War, Pearlman found that he liked the structure and discipline of the Army and decided to make it a career.

Since the Army had less need for his pediatric skills, he retrained as a Public Health Officer and spent his over 30 year military career in that field. Most of his career was spent in Europe and the Far East, where the military had bases supporting US national goals.

His career began to take a somewhat different direction after the Army became aware of the growing number of military personnel who had been infected with HIV which in those early days developed into AIDs and death. Recognizing the need to deal with the growing problem, the Army assigned Pearlman to spend some time in Thailand, which had become a hot spot for the disease. After two years in the jungles of Thailand, Pearlman returned to the US, where he pioneered the establishment of hospices where soldiers in the final stages of AIDs could die with proper dignity and care.

After retirement from the Army, Pearlman took a number of medical positions, first in Bratislava and then in Kyiv with USAID but he felt a need to get back into the field of HIV/AIDs. Therefore, in 2002, he established the International HIV/AIDs Institute, which began financed by funds from Pearlman’s own resources. Several years later, in recognition of the fact that AIDs does not kill but weakens the body’s defense against other diseases, the institute was renamed the International HIV/AIDS & TB Institute, since tuberculosis is the malady that kills most AIDs patients.

As one might expect, Pearlman worked very closely with the Ukrainian military and has closely coordinated the Institute’s work with the needs of the Ukrainian military. Foreign governments have seen a need for Pearlman’s expertise that led to travel in several parts of Europe and Africa. Pearlman’s reputation and that of the institute were responsible for funding under PEPFAR and the Global Fund.

Over the almost 20 years of the Institutes existence, it has gained an international reputation as a center of excellence. This has allowed the Institute, based primarily on Dr. Pearlman’s reputation for competence and public service, to expand so that its budget for the coming year is more than USD 1 mln. With Pearlman’s demise, the Institute’s work will continue under the leadership of persons who were trained by him.

Counseling and testing for HIV: training for doctors of hospitals of the Armed Forces of Ukraine took place in Odessa

On September 15-17 in Odessa, representatives of the International Institute of HIV / AIDS and Tuberculosis conducted a training "Counseling and testing for HIV using rapid multitests in the Armed Forces of Ukraine", organized for doctors of hospitals of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. 16 medical workers from Vinnytsia, Odesa, Lviv, Mykolayiv and Volodymyr-Volynskyi took part in this training.

The main purpose of the event was to improve skills in HIV counseling and testing using rapid multitests.

Experts who have been working in the field of combating the spread of HIV / AIDS in Ukraine for many years were involved in the training, including Natalia Kozhan, a lecturer at the PL Shupik National University of Health of Ukraine, Olga Stas, a microbiologist in the laboratory department of the National Military Laboratory in "Main Military Clinical Hospital" and Tatiana Rybak, medical director of "Odessa Regional Center for Socially Significant Diseases".

Participants of theoretical and practical classes discussed the epidemiology of HIV infection; counseling on HIV treatment; a comprehensive package of services provided to HIV-positive people; dispensary supervision of HIV-infected persons, methods and algorithms of treatment of HIV / AIDS and opportunistic diseases; confidentiality of medical information, rights and responsibilities of HIV-infected people. In addition, all participants trained in practice to conduct pre- and post-test counseling.

Based on the results of the training, the organizers decided to consider the possibility of conducting these trainings for specialists of laboratories of hospitals of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

How to protect a child from HIV transmission from mother

Transmission of the virus to a child from a mother living with HIV can occur during pregnancy and childbirth, as well as after childbirth during breastfeeding.

In the absence of intervention, the risk of transmitting the infection to mothers living with HIV during pregnancy and childbirth is estimated at 15-30%. Breastfeeding increases the risk of HIV transmission by 10-15%. This risk depends on clinical factors, as well as the mode and duration of breastfeeding.

To date, enormous progress has been made in reducing the number of children born with HIV. Effective antiretroviral therapy during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding can reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV to 5% or less. The key direction of this strategy is to prevent new cases of HIV infection among women of reproductive age in combination with early availability of antenatal care and HIV diagnosis. Women living with HIV are also encouraged to continue lifelong treatment to maintain their own health.

Early diagnosis of newborns is essential to identify their HIV status and increase the effectiveness of prevention and treatment programs. The maximum mortality rate among children infected with HIV is between the ages of six weeks and four months.



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