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#28-29, September-October, 2016

In this issue:

2nd Cross-Regional QI Collaborative Meeting
Improving Care and Support Services for PLHIV Through Local Structured Interventions
RESPOND at the 9th National Conference of LGBT Movement and MSM Service of Ukraine
USAID RESPOND Project is Taking a New Approach to Strengthen the HIV Services Continuum
3rd round of Innovative Sustainability Strategies Workshop for Ukrainian HIV-Service NGOs
HIV Services Quality Improvement Technical Working Group Meeting

2nd Cross-Regional QI Collaborative Meeting

On September 19-21, 2016, RESPOND conducted 2nd Cross-Regional QI Collaborative Learning Session to share experiences and data on successful changes tested by local QI teams in eight RESPOND pilot regions. The exchange of ideas provided the framework for the participants to prioritize and optimize changes within current regional change packages.

Director General of the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine Professor Nataliya Nizova welcomed the participants and outlined the objectives and trajectory for healthcare reforms which include client-oriented services, decentralization, and assurance of quality and sustainability of service provision.

Deputy-Director of Ukrainian Center for Disease Control Larysa Hetman introduced participants to innovative approaches, strategies, and steps Ukraine is to undertake to accelerate its progress towards 90-90-90 targets.

Over six months of 2016, in 118 sites across the regions involved in QI collaborative 64,079 people were tested for HIV; 2,775 were newly diagnosed with HIV; 3,505 PLHIV were registered with AIDS services, and 4,920 PLHIV were put on ART.

The event agenda, presentations, and pictures are available at RESPOND website.
2nd Cross Regional Learning Session Sept 2016
2nd Cross-Regional Learning Session, Kyiv, September 19-21, 2016

Improving Care and Support Services for PLHIV Through Local Structured Interventions

RESPOND continues to use COP meetings as a platform for local partners to communicate and share information, stories and personal experiences in intervention implementation. On September 14-15, 2016, the Community of Practice meeting was held for RESPOND sub-grantees completing their projects aimed at piloting local promising interventions, namely “TB is Curable,” “Steps Towards Health,” “Patient School,” “Studio of Opportunities,” and “Partner’s Health.” RESPOND and All-Ukrainian Network of PLHIV worked together to structure, document, and pilot these interventions to be incorporated into the scope of services provided by HIV-service NGOs under the Global Fund.

"TB is Curable" supports adherence to TB treatment among PLHIV with TB; "Steps towards Health" strengthens retention in care of PLHIV who use drugs; "Partner’s Health" helps to enroll the sexual partners of PLHIV and PWID in HIV counselling and testing services; "Patient School" supports ART adherence and is integrated with Studio of Opportunities which seeks to strengthen the livelihood of HIV-positive women with young children.

In 2015-2016, over 8,200 people received services under all of these interventions.

On September 28-29, 2016, RESPOND’s sub-grantees implementing programs designed to enroll sexual partners of PWID (people who inject drugs) in the system of care convened for community of practice meeting. The intervention is a powerful element in the continuum of HIV services and is being applied by local quality improvement teams in Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson, Kyiv, Mykolayiv, Odesa, and Zaporizhzhya regions and the city of Kyiv. 2,808 partners of PWID have received HIV testing services, of them 212 tested positive.

RESPOND at the 9th National Conference of LGBT Movement and MSM Service of Ukraine

RESPOND participated in and co-sponsored this year’s National Conference of LGBT Movement and MSM Service of Ukraine “LGBT and Politics: Tipping Point”. The event which assembled more than 140 people took place in Kyiv from September 30 through October 2, 2016.

The conference agenda touched upon such aspects of MSM-service and LGBT movement as advocacy priorities, PR-strategy and ethical principles of cooperation, cooperation in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA), priority research areas, new international guidance on MSM transgender initiatives and more.
At the Conference, RESPOND presented results of the survey of MSM and ART providers on their preparedness to PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis). The research was conducted in partnership with Yale University. The findings and recommendations were submitted to the Technical Working Group on the Unified HIV prevention, testing and treatment protocol of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.

RESPOND and NGO “Gay Alliance” also presented preliminary results of the RESPOND-designed and supported ‘Reach, Test and Link’ model targeting MSM. The model includes four major components: innovative online outreach, motivational counseling, testing and referral. To reach new MSM clients and engage them into HTS, the online GET TEST campaign was developed, the GET TEST website (http://gettest.com.ua) was launched under this program, 1160 MSM received HIV testing and counseling services over the last year.

USAID RESPOND Project is Taking a New Approach to Strengthen the HIV Services Continuum

STUDIO OF OPPORTUNITIES: A NEW BEGINNING FOR A UKRAINIAN WOMAN LIVING WITH HIVCore elements of interventions designed to improve services for people living with HIV (PLHIV) and their sexual partners aimed at identifying new HIV cases, involving patients into the system of treatment, and forming adherence to treatment have been combined to amplify the performance of ART sites in eight regions of Ukraine involved in RESPOND-led Quality Improvement Collaborative. 8 new grants were awarded in October 2016 to implement this new comprehensive intervention titled Strengthening the Continuum of Services at ART site. The list of sub-grantees is available on RESPOND website. The grant projects to support the implementation will last through September 2017.

In October 2016, RESPOND conducted the first round of trainings on the core elements and tools for NGO case managers and ART site health service providers who will be implementing the intervention in over 30 health facilities in high and medium HIV burden regions. More than 80 people from Dnipropetrovsk, Kirovohrad, Kherson, Mykolayiv, and Zaporizhzhya regions and the city of Kyiv have completed the training. Representatives of HIV-service NGOs also participated in the trainings. Under RESPOND sub-grants, over 5,000 people will receive high quality services which will help them to find out their HIV status, initiate or resume treatment.
 

3rd round of Innovative Sustainability Strategies Workshop for Ukrainian HIV-Service NGOs

STUDIO OF OPPORTUNITIES: A NEW BEGINNING FOR A UKRAINIAN WOMAN LIVING WITH HIVOn October 24-27, 2016, USAID RESPOND Project conducted a workshop on business model validation for 14 representatives from six Ukrainian HIV-service NGOs. Four of participating NGOs have already launched their social enterprises with the technical support from RESPOND and expressed the need to train more staff. 2 of the NGOs have recently joined the initiative and are still at the stage of validating their business ideas.

In fall 2015, RESPOND launched a pilot initiative to support HIV-service NGOs in the development of social enterprises as alternative revenue source through trainings, mentoring, an international exchange, and connection to investment opportunities. These NGOs will present their social ventures at the Civil Society Capacity Development forum to be held in Kyiv in November 2016.

Photos are available on RESPOND website.
 

HIV Services Quality Improvement Technical Working Group Meeting

STUDIO OF OPPORTUNITIES: A NEW BEGINNING FOR A UKRAINIAN WOMAN LIVING WITH HIVQuality Improvement (QI) Technical Working Group (TWG) convened on October 25, 2016. Representatives of Ukrainian Center for Disease Control (UCDC), USAID RESPOND project, other technical assistance projects, international organizations, PLHIV Network, the International Charitable Foundation “Alliance for Public Health”, participated in the meeting.

The TWG focused on RESPOND’s initial results of QI initiative implementation in combination with contingency planning strategies as an effective tool for improving the performance of ART sites. The QI activities have been implemented by 155 ART sites in eight RESPOND pilot regions where in less than 12 months the HIV detection rates went up from 3.9% to 5.3% and the number of people who initiated ART increased twofold.

RESPOND’s QI model was highly praised by UCDC and other national partners. General Director of the State Institution “Center for Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine” Professor Nataliya Nizova welcomed the achievements of the QI collaborative and emphasized its key role in combating the HIV epidemic in the city of Kyiv under the Fast-Track Cities initiative.

The results of RESPOND’s QI activities are being developed into case studies to illustrate the QI process and will be incorporated in the QI Operational Standard. The QI Operational standard will support the implementation of the Unified HIV prevention, testing, care and treatment protocol developed by the MOH and UCDC.

RESPOND’s presentations from the QI TWG can be accessed on RESPOND website.
 
 

RESPOND:

  • Quality of Services
  • Network and Organizational Strengthening
  • Data for Decision Making
The USAID RESPOND Project funded under the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is aimed at reducing the HIV transmission among key populations in Ukraine. The project is implemented by Pact, Inc. in partnership with FHI 360.
This publication is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.
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