UN Resident Coordinator Speaks at Parliamentary Hearings “The Prevention of Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and Viral Hepatitis in Ukraine”

18 Oct 2013

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18 October 2013 – Alessandra Tisot, the UN Resident Coordinator conveyed the joint statement of the UN system in Ukraine on the topic related to tuberculosis, HIV-infection/AIDS and viral hepatitis in Ukraine.

In her speech Ms. Tisot urged the adoption of the National AIDS Programme for 2014-2018 - the document that has been developed through an inclusive consultative process. “The United Nations is convinced that its implementation will help taking the epidemic under full control, - said Ms. Tisot.

UN Resident Coordinator also commended Ukraine for the adoption of Hepatitis-C National Programme and welcomed other improvements of the legal framework, including the so called the HIV Law [Law on Combating the Spread of Diseases Caused by HIV, Legal and Social Protection of People Living with HIV] and amendments to some legal acts of Ukraine related to the adoption of the HIV Law.

“The UN system at the same time appeals to the Government and the Parliament to ensure allocation of full funding for meaningful implementation of the adopted Programme, and would like to requests personal leadership and involvement of representatives of the Government and members of the Parliament in defending proposed budgets and actions”, - said Ms. Tisot.

Speaking about treatment, she emphasized the importance of adoption of the new WHO consolidated recommendation on anti-retroviral treatment (ART) and the decrease of a threshold for initiation of such treatment. This step is seen as a potentially most efficient strategy that could have a big impact on the epidemic.

“As regards tuberculosis, you know that it is a number one “killer” among patients with HIV worldwide, but also in Ukraine. For this, the UN recommends to integrate tuberculosis care into HIV services and vice versa, and to shift from hospital to community-based care to avoid the inter-hospital transmission or spread of resistant forms of TB. The principle we promote is: “Treat Patients, Not Diseases”, including of course, those from the vulnerable groups,”- said Ms. Tisot.

The UN also stressed the need of the comprehensive prevention as the first line of defense against HIV that must go hand-in-hand with treatment, care, and support for those living with HIV. The UN is convinced that early detection and timely initiation of anti-retroviral treatment among most at risk populations is not possible without properly organized prevention outreach.

Ms. Alessandra Tisot concluded her speech by expressing on behalf of the UN system in Ukraine a hope that the treatment coverage, quality treatment and care, as well as preventive measures, will become universal, and the rights of people of Ukraine are respected and protected. The UN stands committed to join forces with the Government, Parliament, civil society, international organizations and all engaged.