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#38, July, 2017
In this issue:
RESPOND’s Final Regional Learning Sessions
RESPOND Holds Final Community of Practice Meeting for NGOs Strengthening the HIV Service Continuum
How RESPOND Transformed my Life 
VIDEO Competition
Mark your calendars! Final RESPOND Partner Conference will take place in Kyiv on November 7-8, 2017

U.S. Ambassador’s Visit to Odesa

On July 14, 2017, Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch visited Odesa and paid a visit to recently established Odesa Regional Center for Integrated HIV and TB Health Services  to discuss regional health reform efforts. Among round table participants were Serhiy Koleboshyn, Vice Governor, Vyacheslav Polyasnyi, Head of Regional Health Department, Svitlana Yesipenko, Head of the Regional Center for Integrated HIV and TB Health Services , Vitalii Novosvitnyi, Head of the Odesa City AIDS Center, Jeri Dible, Director of Health Office at USAID, Alyona Gerasimova, RESPOND COP.

The Ambassador was able to witness the strong collaboration between medical staff, regional health authorities, and the governor's team. Ambassador was impressed by the progress the region has made tackling the HIV epidemic by introducing RESPOND-led changes in the continuum of HIV services. The changes have been implemented by 41 local quality improvement teams created around the existing ART sites. 

HIV detection rate in Odeska Oblast has increased significantly: from 4% at the beginning of QI activities 18 months ago, to 7.2% now. The result was achieved using HIV testing performed by specialty and primary care physicians. The introduction of a screening algorithm for behavioral HIV risks developed by RESPOND also contributed to the improved HIV detection. The increase in the number of PLHV on ART from seven to eleven thousand over the same period is attributable to decentralization, as during this time, 24 new ART sites were created in the region.

RESPOND’s Final Regional Learning Sessions

In June 2017, RESPOND launched 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 June, regional QI Learning Sessions that took place in Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson, Kyiv, Mykolayiv, and Odesa Regions and the city of Kyiv. In July, QI Learning Sessions were held for local QI teams from Kirovohrad and Zaporizhzhya regions. 

As a result of decentralizion of HIV/AIDS services from the regional AIDS Centers to local ART sites in Kirovohrad and Zaporizhzhya regions, the proportion of PLHIV receiving treatment locally increased in Zaporizhzhya from 8% in May 2016 to 40% in July 2017; and in Kirovograd from 5% in October 2016 to 35% in July 2017.  In Zaporizhzhya, as a result of quicker clinical workup and psycholocial support to patients, 98% of PLHIV newly identified in Jan 2016 - June 2017 were registered with HIV/AIDS services.

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.

RESPOND Holds Final Community of Practice Meeting for NGOs Strengthening the HIV Service Continuum

On July 19-20, 2017, the USAID RESPOND project held the final Community of Practice meeting for 9 NGOs implementing interventions to improve the HIV service continuum at ART sites. These interventions cover over 30 ART sites in eight regions with: (1) HIV testing services for sexual partners of PLHIV and linking to services those testing HIV positive; (2) returning to care PLHIV lost to follow up; and (3) supporting PLHIV on ART to improve their adherence to treatment. Since the interventions were launched in October 2016, 3,817 people received services along the continuum. Of them, 583 PLHIV were newly registered with AIDS service or returned to care, and 421 PLHIV were initiated on ART. The interventions supported under RESPOND are coming to an end by September 30, 2017 but the efforts will be sustained by the PLHIV Network under the Global Fund.  
RESPOND has handed over Partner Health, Patient School, and Steps toward Health interventions to the Network by conducting trainings for trainers and implementers and sharing implementation guides and facilitation manuals.  All guides and tools are also available on RESPOND’s website and National Portal for HIV Strategic Information.

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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