Opioid Substitute Treatment
Alliance has been a co-implementer of national programs and integrated activities to respond HIV / AIDS, viral hepatitis C and tuberculosis, with financial support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Yale School of Medicine (USA) and other donors for 20 years.
One of the key directions of the aforementioned programs is Opioid substitution treatment (OST). Alliance has been supporting and expanding OST programs in Ukraine since 2005. OST is a scientifically proven method of treatment for people who are chronically dependent on drugs of the opioid group in the world, with the aim of preventing the increase of HIV / AIDS among people who inject drugs (PWIDs), and also contributes to their re-socialization, reduction of criminal activity, return to normal life in society. There are two medical drugs used for OST – tableted methadone and buprenorphine, which are procured by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine for 95% since 2019 with the state budget funds. Since 2015, liquid forms of methadone have been introduced in OST.
OST is being implemented on the basis of treatment and prevention institutions (narcological dispensaries, AIDS centers, anti-tuberculosis dispensaries, city and regional hospitals, primary health care centers). As on 01.02.2021, there are more than 240 HCF in Ukraine, on the basis of which OST sites function, where 15,097 patients receive treatment and related services, among whom 36.6% are HIV-infected, 94.5% receive ART, 9.4% of patients with tuberculosis, 56.9% of patients has hepatitis C. All the patients receive integrated medical services (diagnosis and treatment of HIV / AIDS, tuberculosis, hepatitis, and other somatic diseases) and psychosocial support (employment, assistance to renew interpersonal relationships, reintegration into social life).
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).