Comprehensive HIV and Drug Treatment for IDUs in Ukraine
The aim of Pangaea's Ukraine program was to increase access to comprehensive HIV/AIDS and drug treatment to attain improved health outcomes for infected populations, lessen the risk of spread of HIV to non-injection drug user (IDU) populations, and ultimately, to reduce AIDS-related deaths.
As the treatment partner for the Clinton Foundation in Ukraine from 2004 to 2009, Pangaea provided the over-all direction for the focus and scope of the program, as well as oversight for planning and implementation of treatment activities. All activities were implemented through a partnership with Ukraine Ministry of Health. Core program components included:
- Introduction of rapid HIV testing targeting IDUs; focus on ease of access, quick results and strategies to make effective HIV treatment referrals
- Registration and procurement of methadone for substitution therapy
- Design and implementation of methadone substitution therapy for both HIV (+) and (-) IDUs
- Development of a combined, highly integrated HIV and drug treatment program for IDUs
- Training and mentoring of nurses, doctors and counselors on HIV treatment and methadone substitution therapy with emphasis on methadone and ART interactions
- Development of regional laboratory capacity to support HIV and drug treatment services.
Each of these components were requirements for the implementation of a robust treatment program for IDUs which produces high ART and methadone substitution therapy adherence leading to a reduction in risk behaviors and ultimately, HIV transmission.