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#37, June, 2017
In this issue:
Outreach, HTS and Linkage to Care Intervention for MSM
How RESPOND Transformed my Life 
VIDEO Competition  

RESPOND’s Final Regional Learning Sessions 

In June 2017, RESPOND conducted the final round of regional Quality Improvement (QI) Learning Sessions in its pilot regions. Local QI teams and health care managers reviewed and discussed changes piloted within RESPOND-led QI Collaborative. The QI methodology introduced by RESPOND allowed general practitioners, specialty doctors, nurses and social workers to meet and work together to make substantial changes throughout the continuum of care: from HIV detection and registration with AIDS service to treatment and retention in care.
  • In Khersonska Oblast, in the past 18 months, at 12 ART sites participating in the Collaborative, 95% of people with confirmed positive HIV status were registered with AIDS facilities for follow-up care and 80% of them initiated ARV treatment. Of those on ART, 89% showed undetectable viral load levels.
  • In Dnipropetrovska Oblast, number of PLHIV registered within AIDS facilities increased from 482 in Q 1, 2016 to 1009 persons in Q 1, 2017. Linking PLHIV diagnosed with HIV to care, while being hospitalized also contributed to the overall success. 92% of those tested positive in inpatient units of hospitals are now registered prior to being discharged from health facilities; thus, preventing them from falling out of care.
  • In Dniprovskyi rayon of the City of Kyiv, in 5 months of 2017, 1,133 people were tested for HIV, which is 5.5 times more than during the same period of 2016 when 210 people were tested. Director of the Kyiv City Department of Health, Dmytro Turchyak emphasized the importance of scaling up the successful changes throughout the city.
  • Successful changes implemented in Mykolayivska Oblast include enrollment of sexual partners of people living with HIV in HIV testing services showing 13.5% testing yield. 
  • HIV detection rate in Odeska Oblast has increased significantly: from 4% at the beginning of QI activities 18 months ago, to 7.2% now. Number of PLHV on ART has also increased from seven to eleven thousand over the same period.
  • Since QI activities began in December 2015 in Kyivska Oblast, HIV testing yield has improved from 4.2% to 7.1 % largely due to the introduction of targeted testing strategies, including the involvement of specialty doctors in HIV testing and counseling.
As a next step, the local QI teams will update regional QI change packages and revise QI Charters which will serve as framework documents aimed at sustaining and scaling up the regional HIV response. QI Collaboratives of Kirovohradska and Zaporizka Oblast will hold their final regional learning sessions in early July.

Outreach, HTS and Linkage to Care Intervention for MSM 

Since December 2015, Alliance Global, under a sub-grant from RESPOND has been implementing the Reach-Test-Treat model for MSM in three cites of Ukraine: Kyiv, Odesa, and Dnipro.
On June 1, 2017, representatives of Alliance Global offices based in Kyiv, Dnipro, and Odesa came to Kyiv for their final Community of Practice meeting to share and analyze successes and lessons learned and discuss challenges in counseling and testing for MSM. Partners noted that one of the biggest successes was advertising  the GET TEST (
http://gettest.com.ua/) site through different Web resources (Hornet, Facebook, VKontakte, Bluesystem, etc.). The web ads allowed to get as many as 73,320 site visits and link MSM and, especially those hard-to-reach, to HIV testing services. As of April 1, 2017, a total of 4,378 people received online motivational counseling services.
Oleksiy’s  Story (Odesa)
In April, I got a message on Hornet from a GET TEST consultant. He offered me to get anonymous HIV testing. Because I had not been tested, and I had risks I liked the idea. The consultant provided me a link to the GET TEST webpage. I think the idea of self-registration for testing is excellent. No passport data, no last name, just the first name and phone number. You can appoint yourself a convenient time for testing.
The next day a consultant called me back, and I set the date and time for testing.
On the appointed day when I came to the community center, I was met by a social worker who accompanied me to a doctor. The doctor tested me; I cannot say I was pleased with the results. However, I calmed down and the doctor asked me to come directly to AIDS center to confirm the results. After visiting the AIDS Centre, I felt much better because I knew I was in good hands.
I try to go to the AIDS Center more often, as I’m preparing to start ART. I am grateful to the program and the people who are involved with it. Thank you for the work that you are doing! 
The meeting participants outlined sustainability plans, reviewed RESPOND’s Reach-Test-Treat Model Implementation Guide, and provided positive feedback noting that the guide will be very helpful for those looking for ways to enhance linkage to care and improve the quality of HIV services for MSM. RESPOND will publish the finalized Guide by September. 

How RESPOND Transformed my Life VIDEO Competition 

Tell us about transformations that took place in your life and work because of your involvement with RESPOND. Make a video and participate in RESPOND’s video competition!

The video should be up to 1 minute long. It can be recorded on your phone.
Send the video to Larysa Kurashyna via email (lkurashyna@pactworld.org) from your smartphones by August 15th, 2017.
The RESPOND team will review the videos and will pick the winners.

The winners will be announced and awarded at the final project conference in November 2017.

Good luck!



  • 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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