November 01, 2018

Opioid dependence treatment using modern evidence-based approaches and practices in Ukraine

Opioid substitution therapy is the efficient method of opioid dependence treatment and one of the most efficient HIV/AIDS prevention ways. Currently the state takes leadership in OST program development and fully ensures the procurement of medicines.

To improve the quality and efficient treatment of opioid dependence, the ICF “Alliance of Public Health” in cooperation with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (СDС) and with the support of the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and by the technical support of the UNODC office in Ukraine translated into Ukrainian and published the «National Guidelines for Medication-Assisted Treatment of Opioid Dependence», of the Department of Health of Australia 2014).

Currently the printed copies are being delivered to HCFs, and the electronic version of the Guidelines is available at the link.

Thus, HCFs will be able to use this document on the facility level after its approval by the internal order of the HCF (according to the provisions of the Decree of the MoH of Ukraine No. 1422 dated 29.12.2016).

We express our gratitude to all partners contributing to the improvement of OST quality and sustainability in Ukraine – Public Health Center of the MoH of Ukraine, UIPHP, the Network of PLWH, UNODC, PEPFAR, civil society organizations and associations.

October 23, 2018

Need help in dismissing arrested human rights defender Andriy Yarovoi!

Andriy Mykhaylovych Yarovoi,  b. 06/11/1967, a citizen of Ukraine from the city of Kyiv, since 27 August 2018 he has been kept prisoner in the city of Luhansk. He is currently kept in an underground prison of so-called “Ministry of Security of the LNR” on suspicion of drug smuggling according to part 3 of article 282 of “criminal code of the LNR”. His alleged smuggling involved officially registered in Ukraine substitution maintenance therapy (SMT) drugs — buprenorphine hydrochloride, a 10-day stock of which he had legally received at Kyiv City Narcologic Hospital “Sociotherapy”. Andriy Yarovoi has been an SMT patient since 2009.

Andriy Yarovoi has worked as an advocacy coordinatory of All-Ukrainian Association of People Living with Drug Dependence (VOLNA, Kyiv), a consultant on monitoring of accessibility of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment at ICF “Alliance for Public Health”. He is a member of the Steering Board of Eurasian Network of People who Use Drugs (ENPUD, Vilnius) and holds membership in Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA, Vilnius).

Recently, Andriy has been given opportunity to talk to his lawyer and receive necessary items and food.

We will be grateful to all local, national and international organizations or persons for their support and actual efforts and actions aimed at his release and soonest return to Kyiv.

Your support and help could include the following:

  • writing letters/petitions (“to whom it may concern”)
  • informal personal negotiations with any persons that may facilitate release of A. M. Yarovoi or alleviation of his confinement conditions
  • spreading this information among people and organization that may facilitate his release

Contact phones: +380503825178 or +380503894674

Thank you very much for your help and support!


October 18, 2018

The Alliance participates in the XI National LGBTI Conference of Ukraine

On October 18-20, the 18th National LGBTI Conference of Ukraine, a national scale event, takes place in Kyiv. The event brought together more than fifty hundred male and female activists of the civil society movements pursuing human rights and freedoms for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people; experts on epidemic well-being; specialists involved in ensuring access to medical and social services for gay, bisexuals and trans* people; representatives of many partner organizations and international assistance projects to Ukraine. The event takes place at the initiative and with the support of the ICF “Alliance of Public Health” and a number of other partners.
“The purpose of this all-Ukrainian gathering is to determine the priorities of the LGBTI movement in the human rights and health sector, as well as to include the LGBTI issue on the political agenda”, said Andriy Chernyshev, the coordinator of the preparation of the national conference, a representative of Kyiv civil society organization “ALLIANCE.GLOBAL”.
“The Country of Free People: Equal Opportunities for All” is the motto of this year’s national LGBT-conference. The versatile program of the 18th Conference included in-depth discussions on the development of the LGBT-movement, the report on the latest national and regional achievements related to health and community access to health and social services, presentations with the results of the innovative revolutionary research. This year’s innovation is that a number of sections of the National Conference are open to all interested parties, however, upon preliminary registration.
A significant number of studies and reports at the Conference will address the health of LGBTI community, in particular, post-exposure prevention, or PrEP, the cutting-edge HIV prevention method for the most sexually active people, which has already gained wild popularity in Western Europe and is beginning to conquer Ukraine. The participants will learn about the main trends in the spread of HIV and choose strategies to foster a friendly attitude of doctors to LGBTIQ patients.
“The Alliance of Public Health was one of the two co-organizers of the First National LGBTI Conference of Ukraine. Since then, more than 10 years have passed, but we continue to support and develop the LGBTI movement in Ukraine. The Alliance was the first in Ukraine to introduce pre-exposure prevention (PrEP) in Kyiv from November 2017 and is continuing this activity. The CDC funded 100 annual courses for men who have sex with men and for transgender people. Moreover, within this project, 1,500 annual courses were procured for the further scale-up of PrEP in other Ukrainian cities”, said Pavlo Skala, Associate Director: Policy and Partnership of ICF “Alliance of Public Health”.

The Conference will also focus on systematic analysis of the human rights situation for LGBTI in Ukraine and information on Ukraine’s successful implementation of the recommendations of the United Nations Global Commission on HIV and the Law on the protection of human rights and freedoms for LGBT people.
A lot of attention at this year’s Conference will be devoted to building trust and cooperation with political parties, because sooner or later open representatives of the LGBTI community will have to sit in the Parliament and the Government. Methods of addressing homophobia and transphobia will be discussed in detail. The topic of the rising Pride Movements will become a special highlight of the Conference, since this year, the Marches of Equality took place not only traditionally in Kyiv and Odesa, but also in the city of Kherson, the pearl of the South of Ukraine, and Kryvyi Rih, one of the major mining industry hubs.
The family topic will be profoundly explored debated in a brainstorming on the prospects of marital partnerships for LGBTI in Ukraine and in the therapeutic “momma-therapy” session, where parents of LGBTI children will share their stories. The voice of youth and adolescents will have a special prominence, whose representatives will talk about their motivation in activism, and “adult” LGBTI-organizations will include in their agenda a sensitive topic of work in the interests of LGBTI youth and teens.
Transgender people will speak in a narrow circle of stakeholders about the barriers to access to health services and the problems of the visibility of trans-communities in Ukraine. A plan to host the European Lesbian Conference in the Ukrainian capital will be presented to homo- and bisexual women.
A constellation of foreign guests was invited to participate in the landmark 18th Ukrainian LGBTI Conference. Among them are the LGBTI-organization “Da se zna!”, which resists hate crimes in Serbia; one of the leading LGBT organizations in Central Asia, Kyrgyz Indigo; a representative of the international organization Women`s March Global, a well-known Canadian transgender activist Mrs. Michelle Emson, as well as activists and activists, specialists and specialists from Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Armenia.
The initiators and partners of the 18th National LGBTI Conference are the following organizations and projects: CO “100% Life”, National MSM Consortium founded this year by the NGO “Alliance.Global”, the League of LGBT “LIGA” Association and the “Gay Forum of Ukraine”, the Eurasian Coalition for Male Health (ECOM), KyivPride civil society organizations, Fulcrum-UA and Gay Alliance Ukraine, HPLGBT Transgender Self-Organization, National Democratic Institute for International Relations, USAID “HIV Reform in Action” international technical support project, Freedom House, Inc. in Ukraine, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the International Charitable Organization “East Europe and Central Asia Union of People Living with HIV”. Importantly, for the first time in the history of national conferences, this year’s event is supported by the state represented by the Center for Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.
“An extremely wide range of organizations and projects that support the National LGBT Conference politically or in terms of resources, including government bodies, demonstrates the commitment of our country to the transformative pursuit of human rights for all citizens, regardless of gender identity and sexual orientation, that Ukraine is strongly determined to take comprehensive efforts to support epidemic well-being among bisexuals, transgender people and gay people, which, by the way, are hundreds of thousands of citizens of Ukraine”, Svyatoslav Sheremet (photo),National Coordinator of the MSM Consortium on Policy and Legislation.
National LGBTI Conferences are held in Ukraine regularly since 2008, complementing the Ukrainian pride events as the key catalyst for the national LGBT-movement, which was recognized by the President among one of the top ten political and social movements of our country in his annual appeal to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

September 26, 2018

Alliance project to become a TRENDSETTER in hepatitis С response in Ukraine

On September 26, 2018, Alliance for Public Health held a final meeting of the partners involved in implementation of the project “Scaling up Accessible and Effective HCV Treatment Through a Community-Based Treatment Model for Most Vulnerable Populations in Resource-Constrained Ukraine” to present the results of the most large-scale program of hepatitis C treatment in Ukraine. Speeches were delivered by representatives of the Ministry of Health (MoH), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Public Health Center of the MoH of Ukraine, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In the course of interactive discussions, doctors and representatives of civil society organizations shared their experience in treatment and support of the project patients. Success stories of the happy patients cured thanks to the project moved all those present at the meeting.

Until recently, treatment of hepatitis C-infection was not on the donors’ list of priorities: none of the international donors funded hepatitis C treatment, while substantial funding was allocated for HIV treatment. However, with no hepatitis C treatment available thousands of members of key populations were doomed to death. The main obstacle for funding was an exorbitant price of the modern therapy – in United States it was as high as USD 86,000 per three-month course.
However, Alliance for Public Health was able to turn the tide in 2014. Thanks to our persistent and targeted efforts, we managed to ensure the price of hepatitis C treatment at 1% of its cost in the United States. For Ukraine, it was a tipping point in hepatitis C-infection treatment – by purchasing the first consignments of drugs at USD 300 per pack, Alliance set the bar for further drastic decrease of public procurement prices. Today, this price remains unchanged – one course of treatment with original drugs (for 3 months) per person costs the Ukrainian government about USD 900. This price is one of the lowest in the world to purchase modern drugs for hepatitis C treatment. At the meeting Michael Martin from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pointed out that in the United States one tablet of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) costs one thousand US dollars.

The unique hepatitis C treatment project implemented by Alliance was highly praised by the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. Dr Oleksiy Bobryk from the WHO underlined that Alliance was the first to build the foundation for further scale-up of hepatitis C treatment at the national level.
It was Alliance who started using highly effective treatment of hepatitis C with direct-acting antivirals within its project “Scaling up Accessible and Effective HCV Treatment Through a Community-Based Treatment Model for Most Vulnerable Populations in Resource-Constrained Ukraine” when almost nobody in Ukraine heard about it. Alliance was the first to introduce not only Sovaldi, but even a more innovative drug – Harvoni – within this project. The advantage of those drugs is that they are well tolerated by patients and have almost no side effects, while demonstrating very high treatment success rates! Alliance used those innovative drugs to treat high-priority populations: members of the most marginalized groups with complicated forms of hepatitis C-infection.

2,162 patients from among the key populations received hepatitis C treatment with direct-acting antivirals throughout 2015-2018. The biggest achievement of the project was a high treatment success rate at 95%! Those incredible results have been recognized at the international level. Before, treatment success rate of the old regimens used in Ukraine for hepatitis C treatment did not exceed 50%.
Most of the drugs used to treat 2,162 patients were donated by Gilead.
Besides, an international advisory board consisting of globally recognized experts was established within the project “Scaling up Accessible and Effective HCV Treatment Through a Community-Based Treatment Model for Most Vulnerable Populations in Resource-Constrained Ukraine.” Those experts were involved in the development of the project guidelines, which are currently used as the basis for the current national protocol of hepatitis C treatment.
In 2017, for the first time in Ukraine prisoners also got access to hepatitis C treatment. Within the program, Alliance successfully treated 50 patients in penal settings.

“This is the first time we use this new and unusual term – trendsetter – to describe this project of Alliance. The project for the first time allowed to access innovative treatment with direct-acting antivirals – Sovaldi and Harvoni, reduce the price for modern drugs, implement such a large-scale hepatitis C treatment program in Ukraine, ensure access to the therapy in penal settings, and achieve an incredible treatment success rate of 95%! Those are the trends, which the government not only can, but also must take over and develop! The Alliance project gave us all the evidence necessary to approve a strategic action plan to eliminate hepatitis in Ukraine,” sums up the project successes the Executive Director of Alliance for Public Health Andriy Klepikov.

Alliance would like to thank all those involved in project implementation: Public Health Center and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, State Penitentiary Service, WHO, CDC, The Global Fund, Gilead Sciences, Yale University as well as all infectious disease doctors, partner organizations and patients. This is our joint victory!

September 26, 2018

Ukraine reports at the United Nations General Assembly high-level meeting on tuberculosis in New York

Revolutionary changes in the fight against Tuberculosis in Ukraine were presented in a  joint country document, which you can find below

Alliance for Public Health has joined the country’s document and contributed to the creation of this documents with materials, in particular :

-Improving the MDR TB treatment outcomes (from 40% cured in routine practices to 79 % in pilot settings)

-New models of health care funding that stimulate the transition on TB treatment in outpatient settings and the introduction of a pay-for-performance mechanism (motivation payment)

-Due to the introduction of early detection methods, diagnosis time of MDR TB has shortened from 35 to 2 days

-New medicines for TB treatment : innovative anti-TB medicines (including Bedaquiline) are registered and being used

-A newly created Parliamentary Platform to Fight Tuberculosis

Analytical materials on TB (ukr.)

Analytical and statistical guide (ukr.)

September 25, 2018

Alliance Call for TB Strategic Priorities

On Wednesday, September 26, 2018, in New York City the UN High Level Meeting on TB (UN HLM)  will be held for the first time in which the Executive Director of  the Alliance for Public Health participating as a member  of the national delegation on behalf of  civil society organizations.

UN HLM  is an unique opportunity to present the achievements, discuss current challenges, and create opportunities for actual implementation of the political commitments undertaken by the countries

Taking this opportunity International HIV/AIDS Alliance, whose global network/family includes the Alliance for Public Health, calls on world leaders to prioritized involvement and effective participation of civil society and communities in the fight against tuberculosis.

Full text ‘’ International HIV/AIDS Alliance Call for TB Strategic Priorities”, which was signed by 35 organizations from  dozens of countries.

September 24, 2018

The Global Fund has supported the expansion of the regional project to 14 countries!

On September 21, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria supported the request for additional funding of a new regional project worth $2.5 million.

Thanks to this Global Fund decision, the project “Sustainability of services for key populations in EECA region” includes now 5 more countries in the South-Eastern Europe – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia.

Thanks to increased funding, the project will strengthen the role of networks of key communities throughout the region of SEAC.

“The Global Fund will finance project ‘Sustainability of services for key populations in EECA region’ in the maximum possible amount – USD 13 million. The project will be implemented simultaneously in the maximum number of countries – 14 countries in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region! There was not such an ambitious and large-scale project in EECA region before. The next three years will require a lot of efforts from all of us. However, this is exactly what we need!” – said Andriy Klepikov, the executive director of the Alliance for Public Health which is the main recipient of the new regional project.

September 20, 2018

Ukraine has held a unique training on working with transgenders

From September 17-19, Alliance for Public Health organized at the first time in Ukraine a training – “Motivational counseling and involvement in HIV prevention projects for transgender people” in Kyiv, for social workers working with transgender people (TG).

For the first time, social workers, psychologists, TG activists and volunteers from non-governmental organizations met to discuss the peculiarities of work and counseling transgender. During the training participants discussed the needs of the target group and, unfortunately, it turned out that the topic of personal health is not the first in the queue of TG needs, and therefore needs to be popularized. During the training discussed the messages that were made clear for TG, the channels for disseminating information on project services, and social workers worked out counseling skills.

The ethical principles of work, the issue of tolerant and impartial attitude, were subjects of all three days of training. The trainers of this training were Svetlana Haiduk from Alliance for Public Health and the coordinator of the NGO “Health and Protection of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender” (HPLGBT) Igor Medvid.

The training was organized within the framework of the project “Investing for Impact Against Tuberculosis and HIV”, which realized by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Transgender people are a new target group of HIV prevention and treatment programs. In 2018, with the support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria 10 NGOs are implementing TG prevention projects. During 6 months of 2018, 697 transgender recipients received the basic package of services, 572 TG were tested for HIV infection.


September 17, 2018

Healthy Ukraine are healthy cities, international experts say

On September 13-14, The City Health International conference 2018 held in Odesa organized by the Alliance for Public Health together with the City of Odessa, AFEW International (The Netherlands) and Knowledge Action Change (United Kingdom).

More than 250 delegates from over 30 countries assembled to exchange best practices in public healthcare and on city health issues related to social, economic, and demographic changes. Among them are municipal workers, researchers, civic activists, and politicians from a variety of countries.

Professor Michel Kazatchkine, UNAIDS Special Adviser on HIV, Tuberculosis and Hepatitis C in Eastern Europe and Central Asia described the global problem of healthcare in cities thus: “HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis are important issues in the region of EUCA. One of the ways in which the world struggles with these diseases is to use the opportunities of civil society due to its dialogue and work with at-risk groups. In Ukraine, there are very powerful organizations – the Public Health Alliance and 100% Life. Hence, it’s quite good that now, thanks to this conference, there is an additional opportunity to introduce changes at the municipal level.”

At the end of the event, the director of Knowledge Action Change, Peddy Costal, presented the Paolo Pertika Award. The Paolo Pertica Award is given for exceptional achivements in the work in criminal justice context, in relation to drug and alcohol users, which can be shown to have a positive impact for both individual offenders and the community in general. This year’s award was given to EECA representative Dumitru Laticevschi to mark his contribution to the development of harm reduction programs in Moldova. Thanks to his work, needle exchange and opioid substitution therapy became available in prisons of Moldova which is now serving as a best model for all EECA region.

Andriy Klepikov, the executive director of the Alliance for Public Health international charity foundation, added: “Healthy cities are not those where many hospitals abound, they are cities where healthy people live and whose residents care about one another. This conference is important for Ukraine because changes can’t happen overnight throughout the country. Change must be done gradually and it should start with cities for they must solve their residents’ health problems.

Event organizers Andriy Klepikov from the Alliance for Public Health and Peddy Costal from Knowledge Action Change handed over the baton to the Liverpool (United Kingdom) and Melbourne (Australia). This is where the City Health International conference will take place in 2019.

For the Odessa citizens and guests of the city next to the venue of the conference also set up a healthy life area where all interested could get tested for diabetes, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, as well listen to lectures on healthy lifestyles and recreation with relatives and friends.

Myroslava Ulyanina, host of the reality show “Weighted and Happy,” gave attendees the following instructions: “I am happy that now jogging is en vogue. As well as eating healthy organic products and monitoring one’s bodily health. Therefore, let’s not follow the old, outdated traditions that proclaimed: “being sick is normal while growing weaker with age is an inevitability”. Let’s be trendsetters and promote new ones on health! At any age and in any city! After all, only a healthy person can be successful.”

The organization of the partnership zone was made possible thanks to the support of “OraSure Technologies, Inc.”, “Synevo”, AHF Ukraine, Red Cross representative offices in Odessa, FAST organizations, Elena Pinchuk Foundation, Sport Life, Drugstore organizations , The Odesa Charitable Foundation “Road to the House”, the Charity Fund “Sunflower”, the All-Ukrainian Women’s Jewish Organization “Project Kesher”, the religious mission “Caritas-Spes-Odesa”, the public movement “Faith, Hope, Love”, Youth Development Center, Charitable Foundation “Era of mercy”.

September 14, 2018

Kyiv, Odesa, and Dnipro take AIDS epidemic in Ukraine under control

The trend of harmful diseases spreading in urbanized areas has manifested itself throughout the world. Ukraine is no exception. Every fourth person living with HIV in Ukraine lives in a city with a population of 1 million or more: Kyiv, Odesa and Dnipro. Yet at the same time, cities have the concentrated resources through which it is possible to solve urgent health issues, to exchange information and seek solutions.

Urban health strategies are key to the wellbeing and health of citizens. That is why big cities have begun uniting to share experiences and successful practices in solving social issues and tackling dangerous diseases. In Kyiv and Odesa, in 2016 and 2017, respectively, they joined the Fast Track Cities initiative aimed at halting the AIDS epidemic by 2030. Next on the list is Dnipro.

Already a year after joining the Paris Declaration, the number of people who became registered and started HIV treatment increased by 30% in Kyiv. Odesa almost achieved a similar result in 2017, with the number of patients seeking treatment rising by 21%.

On September, 13 in Odesa, during the work of the City Health International Conference 2018 deputy mayors of three Ukrainian cities exchanged recipe for success.

The key to success is the leadership of local authorities and the mayor directly. Inasmuch as the initiative are mayors of the most influential cities in the world. Kyiv has started a municipal AIDS fighting program and has provided all the requisite resources for its implementation. Another important point is the joint work and responsibility of the public sector, as well non-governmental and patient organizations in achieving their goals. We resolve all the urgent issues together and co-chair in the City Coordinating Council on HIV. I would like to note that Kyiv was distinguished and recognized as a leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS at the International AIDS Conference held two months ago in Amsterdam,” – said Mykola Povoroznyk, the first deputy head of the Kyiv City State Administration.

Odesa also boasts of own achievements in the fight against dangerous diseases – increased financing towards problems related to HIV infections and tuberculosis. “This year, we approved a city program, having allocated 66 million hryvnias for three years to fight these diseases. This is of the upmost importance at a time when international donors are cutting back activity in Ukraine,”- Odesa deputy mayor Svitlana Bedreha said.

Presently, the success of the nation’s response to AIDS lies with big cities,” – said Roman Hailevych, UNAIDS director in Ukraine. “Indeed, this isn’t only my opinion, this is one of the priorities of the Joint UN Program on AIDS involving 12 UN agencies that UNAIDS comprises and operate in Ukraine. We expect that once Dnipro joins the city-leader initiative that we will have realistic chances to eradicate the AIDS epidemic as a public health challenge in Ukraine”.

On September 13-14, the seventh City Health International conference took place in Odesa. The Alliance for Public Health organized the event with support from the AFEW International (The Netherlands), the Odesa City Administration and Knowledge Action Change (United Kingdom).

Established in 2012, the Health in the City conference draws attention to the health and wellbeing of people and studies the use of alcohol and drugs, healthy eating, safe sexual behavior and the prevention of  violence, as well as factors that impact the health of urban residents.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Healthy Cities in an Age of Change.”

Additional information can be found at: