Today in Chisinau a round table with government officials and leading domestic and international experts in HIV/AIDS was held.
Participants of the event “Partnership for Equal Access to Treatment with Quality Innovative ARVs in the Republic of Moldova” discussed topical issues and progress achieved in countering the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The key objective of the discussions was to combine the efforts, experience and best practices of the state and NGOs to improve access to quality HIV treatment with innovative medications in Moldova. The round table was organized by the East Europe and Central Asia Union of People Living with HIV (ECUO PLWH) and the League of People Living with HIV in the Republic of Moldova, as part of the regional PARTNERSHIP program implemented by ECUO PLWH with the support of the Global Fund.
Within the overview section of the round table, Igor Kilchevskyi, Senior Advocacy Specialist of ECUO PLWH, presented a report describing the progress of the implementation of the Community Regional Action Plan to improve access to the continuum of HIV-related services for all who need it, in the EECA region.
At the meeting, it was noted that, along with the availability of treatment, the issue of adherence to treatment and the availability of quality-assured, efficient and modern ARV drugs, with less side effects, remains important for effectively curbing the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Without a doubt, if the quality of human life is significantly deteriorated from taking medications, people will certainly stop taking such medications. This will contribute to the further spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the development of resistance to certain dosage forms.
The coordinator of the National Program on ARV-therapy in Moldova, Svetlana Popovich, presented an overview of the new National Protocols of HIV Treatment in Adults and Children, and shared information about the real needs of ARV treatment for 2017-2020.
The coordinator of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS in Moldova, Svetlana Plamadeala, presented the UNAIDS strategy in HIV testing, treatment and progress towards achieving “90-90-90” goals. ECUO welcomes the “Test&Treat” strategy, as it is obvious that to overcome the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the EECA region it is necessary to provide treatment as soon as people are diagnosed with HIV in order to avert the rapid proliferation of the virus in the body and its further spread.
Liudmila Untura, the expert of the League of PLWH of the Republic of Moldova and representative of ECUO PLWH in Moldova, presented a report on the results of the current situation analysis and assessment of the level of availability of innovative ARV drugs in Moldova. The report examines the existing opportunities and barriers to the ART cost reduction in the country. The presented analysis promoted active discussion involving all participants. It should be noted that all the received data and their analysis was the community contribution facilitating active inclusion in the dialogue on the treatment quality improvement advocacy.
Summarizing her report, Ms. Untura pointed out that there is a need for continuous dialogue with all stakeholders to optimize HIV treatment regimens, according to the best world experience, and to lower the treatment costs.
This roundtable is the first of the series of four events implemented by the ECUO PLWH with the support of the Global Fund, within the framework of the regional program “Partnership for the Equal Access to HIV Services for All Who Needs the EECA Region”. In November, round tables will also be held in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Lithuania.