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Artyom Golobokov: The government becomes indolent, if not controlled

October 22, 2018

Governments are not interested how exactly people got infected with HIV. Thus, they ignore the opportunities of efficient prevention and the eradication of the epidemic.

Artyom Golobokov, Advocacy Specialist of the ECUO, told about this during the #Partnership Forum, held in Kyiv. He spoke about the results of monitoring to overcome barriers to treatment in 15 countries of the EECA region, conducted by the ECUO within the framework of the Regional #Partnership Program.

“In our opinion, the state approaches the question “whom to treat” from a statistical position. They know the total number of people living with HIV, but they are not interested in which key group HIV-positive people belong to”, said Artyom Golobokov. “Most EECA countries are not interested in such information and do not provide it. Unfortunately, the interest of the state is aimed at patching the existing problem, and fighting HIV among those who already have it. The proactive, preventive role fades to the background. Our data suggests that we need to continue to work with target groups and with new groups that are not yet covered by HIV and substitution therapy services, such as migrants, prisoners. Statistics are collected only on HIV-positive people, and the doctor is not interested in how the person got infected”.

The future reduction of funding from international donors and the Global Fund will lead to the loss of some activists, opportunities and the future, the expert is convinced. Therefore, it is now important to retain the authority and influence of activists, who will have to continue to take part in defining state policies regarding drug prices and their availability.

Among the problems faced by PLWH, Artyom Golobokov identified several key issues, remedying of which can improve the situation with the epidemic in the framework of the 90-90-90 Strategic Plan.

“Every person should receive high-quality, effective, safe treatment at an affordable price”, he emphasized. “But we clearly understand that not all who need receive ARV therapy. The quality of drugs does not guarantee the absence of side effects. This requires an alternative so that every PLWH can live have better quality of life. Meanwhile, access to medications is limited. There is a restriction on registration, when pharmaceutical companies are not interested in entering the market, they are not interested in registering new drugs. Pricing policies of pharmaceutical companies, the work of governments in setting pricing policies and conducting procurement procedures, all these factors limit access to opportunities to change the situation. In addition, the costs for treatment in EECA countries are not optimized”.

On October 22-24 the final forum of the Regional #PARTNERSHIP Program is held in Kyiv.

The event is attended by representatives of communities from countries of the EECA region, NGO activists, experts, researchers, health care system workers, doctors, scientists, politicians, government officials and representatives of international agencies, initiatives and organizations.

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