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Participation in an International HIV Conference

On the 10th and 11th of June, an international scientific-practical conference entitled “Relevant Issues in Preventing Transmission of HIV Infection from Mothers to Children” was…

On the 10th and 11th of June, an international scientific-practical conference entitled “Relevant Issues in Preventing Transmission of HIV Infection from Mothers to Children” was held in Saint Petersburg.
The issue of preventing the transmission of HIV from mothers to children is becoming more and more relevant each year in Russia. This is related to the fact that towards the beginning of 2014 there were 290,000 women who were diagnosed with HIV infection and the share of HIV infection among pregnant women in the general population grew from 0.3% in 2004 to 0.62% in 2013. In 9 regions of the Russian Federation this number exceeded 1% and HIV positive women gave birth to more than 100,000 children.
NP “E.V.A.” members and staff presented at the conference on the following topics:
“Risky Behaviour and Spread of HIV Infection Among Women Who Participated in Rapid-Testing for Antibodies to HIV in 2013-2014” — Julia Godunova (Saint Petersburg)
“The Relevance of Counselling HIV Positive Women on Issues of Contraception, Including During Tuberculosis Treatment” — Natalia Sidorenko (Tomsk)
“Problems in Increasing Adherence to Prenatal and Antenatal Care Among Drug-Addicted Women” — Natalia Sidorenko (Tomsk)
“Women and HIV in EECA Countries” — Irina Evdokimova (Saint Petersburg)
“Results from Monitoring the Access of HIV Positive Women to Reproductive Health Services” — Irina Evdokimova (Saint Petersburg)
“Outcomes of the Work with the SHE Module in Women’s Associations from 8 Regions” — Svetlana Komissarova (Tula)
“Peer Counselor as a Navigator Between Infectious Disease Services and Support for Reproductive Health” — Maria Godlevskaya (Saint Petersburg)
“Peer Counselors’ Contribution to Preventing the Transmission of HIV Infection from Mothers to Children” — Maria Godlevskaya (Saint Petersburg)
Comments from participants of the conference:
Irina Evdokimova: “For them the most interesting block was on reproductive health and cooperation between AIDS centers and obstetric/gynecologic services. The presentation by A.V. Samarina was especially important in this regard, as she shared her vision on how to establish links between these kinds of institutions. In particular, Anna Valentinova acknowledged that, unfortunately, gynecologists in OB-GYN offices do not always have the opportunity to conduct full pre- and post-testing counseling. She expressed the idea that OB-GYN offices could engage peer counselors from non-profits to fulfill this, especially since the existing legislation allows for this.
In my opinion, that kind of interaction would lower the number of women who “get lost” and make their way to AIDS centers late and additionally start to take ARVT to prevent vertical transmission of the virus too late.”
Natalia Sidorenko: “It’s really unfortunate that there were very few non-profits and one of the most important presentations was made on the second day of the conference after lunch, when the audience was not as large as at the beginning. I was not thrilled by the position that many doctors had against “voluntary” HIV testing – when one needs to bring a document from their partner. At the session on co-infection – HIV, hepatitis, tuberculosis – of the seven, only two were about tuberculosis while all the others were on hepatitis. Additionally, to me they seemed to be too scientific and, in my opinion, did not touch upon the important issues of counseling pregnant women IDUs living with hepatitis. For example, if they can breastfeed, which method of delivery should be used, etc. In terms of the conference in general, I enjoyed the high level of the reporting and the execution of the presentations. I am glad that there were very few sessions that were frankly boring and that the audience had “lively” and specific questions”.

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