EATG launches paper mapping awareness-raising initiatives for Undetectable=Untransmittable

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In line with EATG’s aim to work on guidelines for healthcare service providers and to address stigma and discrimination, EATG signed on to the 2016 Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U) Consensus Statement launched by the Prevention Access Campaign. This states that a person on fully suppressive HIV treatment cannot transmit HIV. However, there remain inconsistencies in the knowledge and understanding of U=U in HIV and non-HIV related care/settings.

 

EATG conducted a mapping activity that aimed to collect and report on U=U awareness-raising initiatives that have been implemented by HIV care services and/or in non-HIV care settings in an attempt to overcome the lack of knowledge and promote awareness and a better understanding of U=U.

 

The initiative focused on four EECA countries: Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Ukraine, for a total number of 235 mapped organisations. Based on the results of the survey and an online research study, 32 HIV-related organisations promoted U=U. The Russian Federation is the country that reported the highest number of implemented activities on U=U, followed by Ukraine. A more limited number of initiatives were found online for Belarus and Kazakhstan.

 

The research revealed that online information on the social media and websites of the organisations, informative materials, capacity-building sessions targeting organisations, people living with HIV, LGBTQI+ persons and medical communities tend to be the most commonly implemented activities on U=U. Additionally, it emerged that healthcare professionals, people who use drugs and general public are the target groups with the lowest level of knowledge of U=U.

 

Given some of the obstacles that organisations have faced in implementing U=U activities (e.g. lack of available information, stigma that prevents from working on this topic, lack of funding), it is recommended:

 

  • A significant advocacy effort to incorporate U=U into official HIV treatment and prevention guidelines,
  • A more extensive provision of trainings on U=U for HIV- and non- HIV-related services,
  • More partnerships with organisations that have capacity and experience in the implementation of U=U activities and with organisations that can provide funding,
  • An increased usage of materials that are already available, which should be translated into Russian. An online repository might also be used to facilitate the organisations’ promotion of their activities on U=U.

 

Mapping Paper: U=U Awareness-raising/Education Initiatives in HIV and non-HIV Care Settings

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