In April 2023, an implementation working group was created in Ukraine, which consists of experts and doctors representing various institutions, institutions and organizations in the field of combating HIV/AIDS. This group has united and is working to ensure that a special means of pre-contact prevention of HIV infection for MSM appears and is available in Ukraine, which is administered by injection and does not require daily pills.
Such a program envisages a two-year pilot project in which social representatives of the NGO “ALLIANS.GLOBAL” and doctors of AIDS centers are involved. The injectable drug, which will be available in Ukraine, has the name of the active substance “cabotegravir” and involves administration into the body once every two months.
On September 12-13, a training session was held on the introduction of long-acting injectable cabotegravir (CAB-LA) as PrEP in Ukraine. This event was an important step to improve patient care and reduce the spread of HIV infection.
The training covered numerous aspects of CAB-LA implementation, including its effectiveness, implementation protocols, inclusion and contraindication criteria, client management, and screening algorithms. An important component was the training of specialists from the “implementation teams” in the involvement and support of clients receiving CAB-LA, as well as data accounting.
Speakers, in turn, shared best practices and in-depth knowledge: history of implementation, regulatory and legal basis, key standards of PEPFAR, international experience of using CAB-LA as PrEP, concept of a pilot project, methods of involving clients in receiving therapy and client management, including clinical and laboratory monitoring.
It should be noted that Ukraine is the first country in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia to receive this unique opportunity for HIV prevention among key population groups. Since the drug is expensive, the costs are fully covered by an international donor: The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
The pilot project in Ukraine is being implemented by the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine in partnership with the Public Health Alliance and the NGO “ALLIANCE.GLOBAL”.
As part of the pilot project, it is planned to involve 100 men who have sex with men (MSM) in Kyiv and Lviv within two years. The first customers will receive CAB LA already in December of this year.