NGOs call for implementation of measures to ensure continuity of HIV and opioid dependency treatment for people displaced by the war in Ukraine

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On 21 April, NGOs working with and representing the interests of communities of people living with and affected by HIV, tuberculosis, viral hepatitis and drug dependence in Europe addressed a letter to governments in the EU and EU institutions. The organisations report on the great will of various partners to accommodate the needs of people escaping the war but also major obstacles, especially regarding access to opiod agonist therapy. Therefore, the NGOs call governments in the EU and EU institutions to implement a set of urgent measures:


  1. Facilitate GDPR-proof medical data exchange 
  2. As good clinical practice, ensure that previous diagnosis are accepted, people are prescribed the same regimens and take-home dosages of OAT as in Ukraine as much as possible 
  3. To promote and follow the recommendations being set in the Standardized Protocol for clinical management and Medical Data-Sharing for people living with HIV among refugees from Ukraine and to collaborate with WHO on the development of a similar protocol for the refugees from the Ukraine who are OAT patients 
  4. Support EU member states with emergency procurement and exchange of medications, as needed, to ensure methadone (tables), buprenorphine, dolutegravir-based antiretroviral therapy, pediatric antiretroviral medications and similar Ukraine-prevalent treatments are made available for continuation in all border and other neighbouring countries 
  5. Establish a pool of translation support for clinicians and Ukrainian refugees and utilise automated translation services to overcome barriers in refugee services and clinical settings 
  6. Support outreach and contacts by HIV and drug treatment experts and NGOs in refugee centres, including the sensitization of staff and to urgently identify people in need of uninterrupted daily treatment 
  7. Introduce simplified initiation of essential treatment to all Ukrainians with or without refugee status based on their passport data 
  8. Ensure that monitoring systems and hotlines are available to clinicians and other service providers to immediately solve the health issues affecting Ukrainian refugees.


Download and read the letters

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