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Rapid testing for HIV enables women to get involved with medical social services

On the 24th of November “EVA” organized and held the first Russian forum for HIV positive women. The following individuals participated in the forum: *…

On the 24th of November “EVA” organized and held the first Russian forum for HIV positive women. The following individuals participated in the forum:

* Voronin E.E. – head non-staff child specialist on the problems of diagnostics and treatment of HIV infection for the Russian Ministry of Health,

* Dement’eva L.A. – deputy head of epidemiology at Rospotrebnadzor,

* Ladnaya N.N. – senior researcher of the federal scientific-methodical center on the prevention of and fight against AIDS at the central scientific research institute of epidemiology at Rospotrebnadzor.

At the forum, one of the main topics of the discussion was the issue of involving women in medical-social services. The outcomes from AHF’s projects on rapid testing and the initiation and retention of people with an identified HIV status to treatment in the Leningrad and Sverdlovsk regions and the Republic of Tatarstan were presented.

According to the data from “Sverdlovsk regional center for the prevention of and fight against AIDS and infectious diseases”, examination of women for HIV in treatment and prevention institutions are less popular than rapid testing. The following characteristics paints a portrait of women who had rapid tests done in Sverdlovsk region: average age – 29.5 years old; have permanent work; in sexual conduct, in general, do not use condoms; in the last year had more than 1 sexual partner.

According to the analysis of the components of the rapid testing in the project “Retention of Patients in Medical Programs for HIV”, which was conducted by “EVA” in conjunction with the Leningrad regional AIDS Center, women in whom HIV was detected during a rapid test on average look like this: age – from 30 to 40 years old; education – technical degree or community college; have had experience with substance abuse (or use currently) or have had (or currently have) a sexual relationship with an injection drug user. In the majority of cases, they do not use condoms in sexual conduct and in the last year had more than 1 sexual partner.

Following the results of the the forum a resolution will be signed which will introduce concrete proposals to change the situation with involving women in the medical-social services. It was decided to include:

* Review of the issue of using rapid testing as a method for prevention and testing in the sanitary rules of the Russian Federation;

* Review of the issue of creating methodical recommendations for rapid testing and its subsequent proliferation by leaders of AIDS Centers;

* Review of the issue of ordering the services of peer counselors, accompanying and support of clients for rapid testing at non-profits (for example at the expense of federal resources allocated for the prevention of HIV).

The resolution will be signed by the participants and sent to the Ministry of Health and Rospotrebnadzor on the 5th of December.

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