COMBATING HIV/AIDS

USAID Mission Director Jed Barton tests for HIV during a USAID field day event.
USAID Mission Director Jed Barton tests for HIV during a USAID field day event.
Roman Woronowycz
THE CHALLENGE

Ukraine is experiencing one of the most severe HIV/AIDS epidemics in Europe and the former Soviet Union, with an estimated 230,000 people aged 15 and over living with HIV at the beginning of 2012. Data suggest that half of all individuals infected with HIV are unaware of their status and unable to take adequate measures to preserve their health or prevent further transmission. Evidence suggests that the number of newly-registered HIV cases in the country is stabilizing and HIV incidence among people who inject drugs is also stabilizing.  However, HIV transmission to the sexual partners of IDUs and into the general population remain areas of great concern.

HIV/AIDS PARTNERSHIP FRAMEWORK GOALS

  • Reduce the level of HIV transmission among people who inject drugs and other key populations.
  • Improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of HIV prevention, care and treatment services for key populations, particularly people who inject drugs and their sexual partners.
  • Strengthen national and local leadership, capacity, policies and resources to reach national AIDS program objectives.

OVERVIEW
USAID has worked with the Government of Ukraine (GOU), other donors, multilateral and international agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector to reduce the level of HIV transmission among key populations since 2001. Under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the U.S. Government and the GOU signed a five-year Partnership Framework to establish greater cooperation in countering HIV/AIDS (2011-2015). The Framework serves as an umbrella for ongoing and expanded HIV/AIDS programming in Ukraine. USAID programs leverage resources from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) for HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment for key groups and tuberculosis TB/HIV co-infection. 

OUR PROGRAMS
USAID provides support to reduce the transmission of HIV/AIDS through the promotion and adoption of state-of-the-art comprehensive prevention, care, and treatment services to key sectors of society; improved access to TB/HIV co-infection services; and increasing the ability to provide services such as medication-assisted therapy (MAT) to those affected by the disease. USAID also lowers the policy, legal, regulatory, social, and fiscal barriers inhibiting access to quality HIV/AIDS-related services. USAID activities meet best practice international standards and increase the ability of civil society and government institutions to provide quality services in a sustained manner. USAID also supports innovation and research to improve the local HIV response.

USAID’s assistance increases the quality of HIV/AIDS services for those most vulnerable and their partners.  It also reduces stigma and discrimination by those seeking HIV prevention, care, and treatment services. USAID strengthens Ukrainian substance abuse and drug dependence treatment services for individuals in prison detention and after their release to deliver HIV/AIDS programs. USAID also supports awareness-raising and advocacy for law enforcement, drug control, and prison authorities to deliver comprehensive HIV services. Additionally, USAID assists the Government of Ukraine to improve access to HIV/AIDS and TB medications and diagnostics at public health facilities.

USAID addresses the challenge of achieving long-term sustainability for a national HIV/AIDS response by working to strengthen health systems at the national and local levels.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
The part of the United States Government PEPFAR Program supported by USAID has shown demonstrable results in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country.  USAID’s HIV/AIDS programs produced an impressive reduction in the growth rate of HIV infection from 27.4 percent in 2004 to 1.2 percent in 2010 in the nine regions assisted by USAID interventions.

USAID-supported PEPFAR Program achievements include:

  • Development of rapid HIV counseling and testing by civil society organizations for people who inject drugs (PWID), female sex workers (FSWs), and men who have sex with men (MSMs) in nine priority oblasts;
  • Establishment of an implementation science framework and creation of a national research agenda for evidence-based interventions;
  • Development of an innovative client/vendor service purchasing model to strengthen local NGOs to serve as long term sources of state-of-the-art technical and organizational capacity building;
  • Design, piloting, and assessment of new models of integrated care for medication-assisted therapy, antiretroviral treatment, and tuberculosis treatment for PWID in five oblasts;
  • Increased commitment by national drug control policy and drug dependence treatment partners to integrate HIV-related services into the drug dependence treatment services system.

Through USAID’s support, the Government of Ukraine approved a new AIDS law on the Prevention of AIDS and Social Protection of the Population in January 2011. This law protects the human rights of individuals vulnerable to and living with HIV and ensures the provision of medication assisted treatment for PWID. In June 2012, through USAID's technical assistance, a new law on the implementation of the Global Fund grants in Ukraine was developed and approved. This law removed regulatory, tax and administrative barriers for Ukrainian organizations, including government agencies, to receive and manage Global Fund grants. In April – October 2013, USAID supported the development of a draft law on a new National HIV/AIDS Program (2014-2018) and continues to advocate for the GOU to fund critical HIV services after the completion of the Global Fund grant in 2016.

Last updated: August 18, 2014

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