On 13-16 June, EQUIP project team is on a working visit to Ukraine. This project is aimed at scaling up access to innovative diagnostics and treatment of hepatitis C for key populations.

Leadership and expertise of Alliance for Public Health in the treatment of hepatitis C in key populations in Ukraine may serve as an illustrative example of how implementation of programs by non-government organizations may be a progressive mechanism to ensure access to treatment.

On 14 June, Alliance representatives and international experts of the EQUIP project made a first joint site visit to the Institute of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases named after L.V. Gromashevsky. Considering that the EQUIP project stipulates scaling up access of key populations to hepatitis C treatment with direct-acting antivirals, the experts were interested in getting acquainted with the experience of treatment with a combination of sofosbuvir/ledipasvir, which was provided to the institution within the project “Scaling up Accessible and Effective HCV Treatment Through a Community-Based Treatment Model for Most Vulnerable Populations in Resource-Constrained Ukraine” implemented by Alliance. Sergiy Filippovych, Director: Treatment, Procurement and Supply Management (Alliance) also told about the integration of hepatitis diagnostics and treatment services into the prevention programs implemented by Alliance and ensuring sustainability of HIV and hepatitis prevention interventions for key populations.

It is planned that in the nearest future Alliance together with the Ministry of Health (MoH), Public Health Center of the MoH and All-Ukrainian Network of PLWH will take part in implementation of the EQUIP project supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The goal of the EQUIP project in Ukraine is implementing demonstration projects to:

– Scale-up rapid HCV/HIV testing among key populations in PWID

– Simplify pre-treatment diagnostics and treatment monitoring of HCV

– Provide concurrent HIV testing of all individuals testing for HCV

– Ensure immediate link of HIV positive patients to treatment

– Determine the cost-effectiveness and investment case of applying best clinical practice in HCV/HIV treatment