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Georgia is championing best practices on ensuring universal access to the continuum of services for all key populations in the country.

November 06, 2017

Давид АнаниашвилиDavid Ananiashvili

“I am proud that my country has achieved such a progress in the treatment and I’m happy to have been directly involved in this. Thus, I am a member of the working group on the development of the National HIV Prevention and Treatment Guidelines, which will be adopted since 2018. I am glad that my initiative to include PreP in the protocol was supported and included in the text. From 2018, the main pharmaceutical combinations in the treatment of HIV will be TDF + FTC + DTG, namely Truvada and Dolutegravir. Only about 20% persons will continue taking Efavirenz, if the medication is suitable for them and does not cause side effects. Georgia already has a hepatitis C and vertical HIV transmission elimination programs in place, and Methadone is provided for everyone free of charge. I am currently working on the liberalization of protocols regulating the prescription dispending of OST medications and I’m sure it will be introduced in practice by the end of the year”, says David Ananiashvili, director of the Georgian PLUS Group and a representative of the ECUO PLWH.

Recently representatives of the Infectious Diseases, AIDS and Clinical Immunology Research and Development Center have reported that in the last two years there have been no cases of vertical transmission of HIV in Georgia. This is a unique indicator for the EECA region and an example of best practice that needs to be spread across the region.

Since the beginning of 2017, 433 new cases of HIV infection have been detected in Georgia. As of September 18, 6564 PLWH are registered across the country. 4890 of them are men and 1674 are women. The highest number is in Tbilisi (2146), with Semegrelo, Imereti, Adjara and others at lower positions in the rating. Most patients are aged 29 to 40. Injecting drug use and unprotected sex remain the key drivers of the epidemic in Georgia.

The ECUO PLWH welcomes the update of the protocols and the vigorous actions taken to ensure universal access to the HIV-related services continuum in the country. Currently we can see how the countries in our region are one-by-one announcing about the transition to Integrase Inhibitors in the treatment of HIV infection, recognizing the importance of such a step to establish control over the HIV/AIDS epidemic. It is noteworthy that only half a year ago, the ECUO PLWH team for the first time announced the need to ensure access to Integrase Inhibitors in all countries of the EECA region and at that moment this statement stirred a wave of skepticism and criticism from many experts in the region.

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