Recently, a meeting of representatives of the USAID "RESPOND" project with the head of the health department of the Zaporozhye Regional State Administration Natalia Motovitsa was held, during which the parties discussed the main issues related to strengthening the response to the epidemic of the immunodeficiency virus.
After that, the key partners of the project to improve the quality of HIV testing, counseling and treatment for vulnerable segments of the population discussed issues related to coordinated actions to promote the project and support the regional program to combat the HIV and tuberculosis virus in the Zaporozhye region.
The project to improve the quality of HIV testing and counseling services for vulnerable populations was launched in June 2014. Within three months, the primary health care workers of the district polyclinic from the cities of Vasilievka and Orekhov conducted advisory work on the prevention and treatment of HIV. A total of 22% of the key groups were consulted, of whom almost 90% were tested for HIV.
To carry out this work, the team of specialists adapted the CIT protocol, entered a questionnaire to assess behavioral risks, and purchased rapid tests to detect HIV at their own expense. After that, this service was extended to other areas of the Zaporozhye region.
The specialists analyzed the results of the project for 4 months of work, and in the second quarter of 2014 the decision was made to extend the project to all areas of the Vasilievsky and Shevchenko Districts, as well as seven outpatient clinics in the Melitopol District. In December 2014, the project attracted narrow specialists from the central district hospitals.
The project has already shown positive results, for example, in 2013, only 10% of risk group counseling and testing of HIV were conducted, and in 2014 this indicator increased by 6%. The consequence of the project's launch was the identification of HIV-positive people among the adult population.
The main achievement of the project is the strategy on which specialists conduct consultations and testing - all work is done on an outpatient basis. The family doctor consults both before the test and after, while the status of HIV-positive patients is taken into account, and such persons are placed on dispensary records.
A further step in the cooperation of the parties will be the training of future trainers who will conduct trainings in healthcare institutions in Zaporozhye region. Trainers will be medical workers of the central district hospitals and AIDS centers, which will be trained "Voluntary counseling and testing of HIV using rapid tests."
Further, it is planned to expand the provided services for residents of Melitopol and Melitopolsky District who have been diagnosed with an immunodeficiency virus, while social workers, employees of children's social services centers, family doctors, narrow specialists of central district hospitals, AIDS centers will be involved.