Alliance for Public Health is a co-implementer of the National Targeted Social Program to Fight HIV/AIDS in 2014-2018 and the Program “Investing for Impact Against Tuberculosis and HIV” (funded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria). One of the areas of the above-mentioned programs is Opioid Substitution Treatment (OST). OST is an internationally recognized method to treat people who inject drugs (PWID), which is aimed at prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS among the members of most vulnerable populations and also contributes to re-socialization of PWID, bringing them back to normal life in society. Two types of drugs are used for OST – methadone and buprenorphine tablets. Starting from 2015, OST using liquid forms of methadone has also been launched.
OST is implemented in healthcare facilities (drug treatment clinics, AIDS centers, TB treatment clinics, city and district hospitals, primary healthcare institutions). In total, there are over 170 healthcare facilities in Ukraine which have OST sites (rooms), with about 8,400 patients receiving services at such sites, including 42% of people living with HIV, with approximately 60% of them receiving ART, 1,308 people with tuberculosis and 4,606 people infected with HCV. All patients received integrated services including medical support (diagnostics and treatment of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, hepatitis, and other general medical conditions) and psychosocial support (employment, renewal of personal relations, starting families, having children, reintegration into society).
Support to displaced OST Clients
Since May 2014, Alliance has been implementing projects to support opioid substitution treatmentpatients coming from the occupied Crimean peninsula and the areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts temporarily not controlled by the Ukrainian Government with financial support of:
The International Renaissance Foundation (IRF), period: 08 May 2014 – 31 March 2015, Project “Support of substitution treatment patients from Crimea and Donbas”;
Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), period: 01 October 2014 – 25 December 2014, Project “Humanitarian aid to OST patients from Crimea and South-Eastern Ukraine”.
Pompidou Group of the Council of Europe, period: 01 February 2015 – 31 May 2015, Project “Support of internally displaced persons – OST patients in Ukraine”.
Since 01 June 2015, within the Program “Investing for Impact against Tuberculosis and HIV” with financial support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and MalariaAlliance Ukraine has been implementing the project “Support of OST patients/internally displaced persons from the ATO areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts”.It is expected to cover at least 200 OST patients who come from the ATO areas with project services. Services delivered to clients within the project:
- Ensuring uninterrupted delivery of OST;
- Individual case management for every project client, in particular to facilitate his socialization at the new place;
- Reimbursement of travel expenses to the location of project implementation;
- Accommodation in hostels or apartments;
- Meals/food packages;
- Distribution of hygiene packages (shampoo, soap, laundry detergent, etc.);
- Treatment of HIV infection, tuberculosis and other medical and social services (if needed).