The Donetsk AIDS Centre

The AIDS centre of the oblast (province) Donetsk was already established in the mid-1990s, hence it is the oldest in the Ukraine. The oldest urban AIDS centre in Ukraine is located in the nearby city of Gurlowka, which already exists for 15 years now and the experiences there had caused head physician Dr. Nikolai Graschdanow to found the district AIDS centre.

In the chaotic days following the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was no support from the Ukrainian Health Ministry for this institution and virtually no money. Both, the Ukrainian government and the (admittedly still rather inarticulate) Ukrainian public reacted with outward denial and inward indifference towards the incipient HIV/AIDS epidemic and the epidemic drug addiction, which had triggered it. That is,
the commitment of Graschdanow and his largely female staff cannot be appraised enough. Every other AIDS centre in Ukraine was established much later, when the Ukrainian government (National AIDS Centre Kiev) and the West had started to provide funds. By far the greatest part of Ukrainian AIDS centres is exactly three years old and was funded with Global Fund money. Hence they are rather inexperienced with this complex syndrome and the therapy it requires. Since the Donetsk AIDS Centre didn't have the money to build its own stationary facility, it reached a settlement with about 20 district hospitals that each of them would provide a couple of beds for AIDS patients on the normal wards for internal medicine. Thus AIDS patients in the clinics of this region are less marginalised by Ukrainian standards. But most notably comparatively many physicians in the periphery of the AIDS Centre are thus acquainted with the treatment of AIDS. Until late 2005, however, there was no ART and what there is, is by far not enough for the many patients. According to estimates of the AIDS Centre currently 250,000 of the altogether 4.8 million inhabitants of Donetsk district are living with HIV. The only group of people that still is comparatively comprehensive tested are pregnant women, of whom more than 5 % are positive. Likewise more than 5 % of all blood donations in this region are positive. This evidence suggests that the infection has spread from the original high-risk group of drug addicts to the general population. Following Odessa, Mikolajew and Dnjepropetrowsk, Donetsk oblast is fourth in line of the most affected regions in Ukraine. Due to its very committed and very experienced physicians in the treatment of opportunistic diseases the AIDS Centre there is a very qualified cooperation partner. Especially since the ART purchased with the Global Fund money will continue to be by far not enough for the amount of Ukrainian AIDS patients - making the focus on treating co-infections so much more necessary/realistic.

July 23, 2006 | Category:


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Bundesministerium für Gesundheit
Boehringer Ingelheim