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09.02.07

The Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria has chosen Michel Kazatchkine, France's Ambassador for HIV/AIDS and Communicable Diseases, as the next Executive Director of the Global Fund, reports the International Herald Tribune. In November 2006, the Global Fund had postponed its decision to appoint a new Executive Director and started to look for more candidates. The new Executive Director replaces Sir Richard Feachem, who steps down at the end of his five-year term on March 31.

The final election procedure consisted in choosing one of three candidates, and Dr. Kazatchkine received about two thirds of Boards votes. I look forward to handing over a strong institution that is positively impacting tens of millions of lives in 136 countries, said Professor Richard Feachem. Under Dr. Kazatchkine's leadership the Global Fund is in excellent hands and its life saving work will continue to expand.

This is a new period in the life of the Fund and we are indeed fortunate to have Professor Kazatchkine lead the Secretariat at the start of the Fund's second five year cycle. He has a right blend of skills and experience needed to manage this unique financial institution, said Dr. Carol Jacobs Chair of the Board of the Global Fund.


08.02.07

Invitation to Bid for the right to supply rapid test-systems for standard testing under post-contact prevention activities. Test-systems to be procured shall be delivered to regional health facilities and penitentiary institutions.

Interested organisations are invited to submit quotations.

[Minutes] (323 kb)

24.01.07

Today, the Volgograd Oblast Press-Club has hosted a HIV/AIDS Briefing to give the floor to officials from the Volgograd Oblast Administration, the Regional AIDS and Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Centre as well as guests to our city: Alexander Pankratov, Programme Coordinator from the Russian Health Care Foundation and the AIDS. Ambulance TV Programme team, led by Alexey Lysenkov.

The Volgograd Oblast is one of the sixteen Russian regions participating in the Global Funds Programme called Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation. The Global Fund will grant a total amount of US$ 120 million for the period up to 2010 to combat HIV-infection in Russia. The allocation of these proceeds rests with the Russian Health Care Foundation.

It was not just by occasion that the Volgograd Oblast was selected. The Oblast is willing and committed to implement the Programme. It has excellent specialists. The Oblast Administration is fully aware of the importance of this problem. Here, it is not the case when people are trying to attract attention of the authorities - on the contrary, the authorities turn to people, urging them to go through testing, and, if necessary, to receive free treatment, noted Alexander Pankratov, Programme Coordinator from the Russian Health Care Foundation.
According to Nadezhda Gorshkova, Chief Physician of the Regional AIDS and Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Centre, there are 1,250 HIV-infected persons in need of treatment, in this region. Expensive drugs have been already provided to half of them on a free of charge basis.
We are urging everyone to get tested for HIV. Now, most of those who decide to do so are people aged from 20 to 30 and primarily women. We are ready to work with each patient. Anyone can have access to therapy, and which is very important it is provided free of charge, said Alexander Filippov, Deputy Chairman of the Oblast Health Committee. Currently, there are 5,200 registered HIV-infected individuals in the Oblast, with 80 % of them being young people at the ages of 15 - 30.
The virus is indifferent to your social position and incomes. This problem may affect anyone. The so-called risk groups have already ceased to exist. It is a must to convince people that there is nothing awful in such a testing. But it is possible only if a person has a purposeful desire to live, emphasized Alexey Lysenkov, AIDS. Ambulance TV Programme Leader (TNT TV Channel).
The Briefing was held under a project which will produce a series of programmes on problems faced by people living with HIV/AIDS through the AIDS. Ambulance TV Programme ((TNT TV Channel).


22.01.07

During the period of January 22 25, 2007, the Federal AIDS Centre and the Russian Health Care Foundation will jointly offer a course of training in HIV laboratory diagnostics and laboratory monitoring of treatment (immunology).

The training is meant for the Directors of the AIDS Centres Diagnostic Laboratories, and lab physicians working in the immunology labs from six participating regions of programme year 2.
This training course is designed to train trainers so that they could deliver training seminars on HIV laboratory diagnosis and treatment monitoring in their own.
The audience will be trained in using the newest flow cytometers to be supplied to the participating regions.

The training will be provided under the Programme: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation aimed at reducing the HIV incidence and HIV-related mortality through improved access to prevention, treatment, and psychological and social support for people living with HIV/AIDS, with an emphasis on vulnerable populations.

[Scedule] (28 kb)

21.01.07


On January 17, 2007, the Government ommission on HIV Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment held its first meeting chaired by M. Zurabov, Minister of Health and Social Development of the Russian Federation.

Gennady Onishchenko, Chief of the Federal Oversight Service for Protecting Consumers Rights and Human Welfare, presented a Progress Report on the National Priority Project.
D. Goliaev, Global Fund Project Director, informed the meeting participants about the progress of the AIDS/HIV and TB control programmes funded by Global Fund (the 4th Round) and implemented by the Russian Health Care Foundation, and its coordination with the National Priority Project and the 3rd Round Programme funded by the Global Fund and implemented by the Open Health Institute under the GLOBUS Project.

M. Grishankov, Government Panel Member, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Security, highlighted the issue of public procurement of drugs for HIV treatment in compliance with the new treatment standard.

To sum up the discussion, M. Zurabov, Minister of Health and Social Development of the Russian Federation, stated that the meeting undertook an all-round review of both achievements and shortcomings in the implementation of HIV/AIDS-related activities under of the National Priority Health Project, and the projects implemented by the Open Health Institute and the Russian Health Care Foundation, and identified key areas of action and targets for 2007. In particular, it is intended to provide treatment for 30,000 HIV-infected people in 2007, i.e. to double the coverage of HIV patients with treatment.

In future, the Panel will meet on a monthly basis. According to Gennady Onishchenko, Chief of the Federal Oversight Service for Protecting Consumers Rights and Human Welfare, a major decision made at the meeting was to consider the commencement of antiretroviral dugs manufacturing by Russian enterprises, at the next meeting.

[Protocole] (48 kb)

20.01.07

On January 16 19, 2007, the Federal AIDS Centre and the Russian Health Care Foundation hold a seminar on Therapy for Drug-Addicted Prisoners and HAART Adherence in Prisons.

The training was provided under the Programme: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation, aimed at reducing the HIV incidence and HIV-related mortality through improved access to prevention, treatment, and psychological and social support for people living with HIV/AIDS, with an emphasis on vulnerable populations.
Its objective was to train trainers, i.e. specialists from six participating regions of programme year 2 (Kemerovo Oblast, Perm Kray, Bashkortostan, Rostov Oblast, Ulyanovsk Oblast and Tolyatti City) who will hold, on their own, training seminars on HIV treatment in prisons.

[Program] (69 kb)

17.01.07

Tender advertisement: a tender will be held to select a contractor for training of medical personnel, including infectious disease specialists, obstetricians/gynaecologists, dermatologists/venereal disease specialists, narcologists, psychologists and social workers, in voluntary counselling and testing for Programme year 2.

Interested organisations are invited to submit their proposals.


14.12.06

An HIV-infected woman from the Krasnodar Kray agreed to participate in the forth-coming Time to Live Tele-Marathon aimed at increasing the visibility of HIV/AIDS-related problems faced by the country and the region.

At the press-conference in Krasnodar, Vladimir Pozner, President of the Russian TV Academy and the host of the broadcast for the Tele-Marathon, said that it had been very difficult to find heroes for the broadcast because their TV appearance could adversely affect future life of HIV-infected people.

This woman will wear a mask. But why should she hide her face? She is quite a worthy person, but she is afraid. She is afraid to lose her job, she afraid for her child because she has already encountered problems related to the general attitude to HIV-infected people, said V. Pozner.

He noted that it would be already the 18th broadcast to discuss societys attitude to AIDS patients and HIV-infected people in Russian regions and the 3rd talk show of this kind financed from grant proceeds of the Global Fund and involving the Russian Health Care Foundation. The other two talk shows took place in Irkutsk and Kaliningrad, i.e. in regions participating in the Global Funds 4th Round Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation.
It is very important to have this opportunity to discuss such a problem on the spot, noted V. Pozner. And what is of particular importance and delight for me is that these broadcasted talk shows have their impact in any way. For example, in the Irkutsk Oblast, this problem had been ignored for a long time until quite recently. Currently, it comes to be raised and increasingly discussed. So, this effort yields results," said V. Pozner. Owing to endeavours of various organisations, the visibility and response to the problem have scaled up. It is manifested, for instance, in the amount of money made now available to fight HIV in Russia as a whole, said V. Pozner.

The Krasnodar Time to Live Tele-Marathon (initiated and funded by the Russian Health Care Foundation) is called, among other things, to encourage HIV-vulnerable populations and people living with HIV to become more active participants in civic life.

The Time to Live Tele-Marathon will be broadcasted next week at a regional TV channel; its participants will include regional officials, medical professionals, journalists, representatives from non-governmental organizations and other participants.


13.12.06

The regions selected for program year 2 continue to get actively involved into the implementation of the Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation funded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.
The Russian Health Care Foundation signed a Program Implementation Agreement with the Tolyatti City Administration.

The Agreement provides for procurement and delivery of laboratory equipment (including a flow cytofluorimeter), office equipment, test-systems for post-contact diagnosis in health facilities of the city as well as antiretroviral drugs for HIV/AIDS patients in the region.
The program would support prevention activities and outreach services for the most vulnerable populations (injection drug users, commercial sex-workers and men having sex with men), train specialists in HIV/AIDS treatment, care and support, and include other activities.


12.12.06

A HIV/AIDS Containment Interagency Meeting was convened by Semen Krut, Deputy Governor of the Irkutsk Oblast in charge of social policies.
The decision to hold such meetings was adopted after the Time to Live Tele-Marathon hosted by Vladimir Pozner in late October in response to the broadcasted criticism addressed to officials.

The meeting was attended by Igor Ushakov, Director, Regional Health Department, Yulia Rakina, Deputy Chief Physician, Irkutsk Oblast AIDS and Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Centre, representatives from the Irkutsk Oblast Committee of the Russian Red Cross, non-governmental organisations involved in the implementation of the Program financed by the Global Fund: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation in the Irkutsk Oblast.

According to Yulia Rakina, HIV/AIDS containment programs have been implemented in the region since 1993 with the recent of them covering the period of 2001 - 2010. However, as she admitted, these programs have always suffered from underfunding, judging by the annual results. E.g., in 2005, the available funding covered only 71.4 % of the program needs. The program includes such activities as antiretroviral therapy for HIV-infected children, mother-to-child transmission prevention, and development of the AIDS Centres infrastructure (e.g., diagnosis equipment was delivered to 10 areas in the Oblast). Expensive equipment was also procured for HIV diagnosis confirmation, and donor blood quarantinization. Last year regular health examinations covered 6,000 people with established diagnoses. Health workers were trained and protected against infection risks related to their work (there are no cases of on-job infection among health personnel in the Irkutsk Oblast). One of the most important activities is HIV-related public awareness and education among young people and general population.

Yulia Rakina emphasized that the Global Funds Program and the National Priority Health Project had supplied the Oblast with drugs in the amounts sufficient to provide access to antiretroviral therapy for all HIV-infected patients in need of it. As of today, the Russian Health Care Foundation supplied the Irkutsk AIDS Centre with antiretroviral drugs worth of more than Rbl. 20 million.

Anna Zaitseva, Deputy Chair, Irkutsk Committee of the Russian Red Cross, informed the meeting participants that regional non-governmental organisations had spent more that Rbl. 10 million to address HIV/AIDS-related problems since the year 1999. She also noted that the Irkutsk Red Cross Unit was implementing such projects as harm reduction among IDUs and CSWs, establishment of multi-professional teams, training in VTC, and palliative care. These projects receive funding from the Russian Health Care Foundation. She urged public sector organisations to work in closer cooperation with the non-governmental sector. In 2006, the Russian Health Care Foundation provided about Rbl. 8 million to fund projects implemented by non-commercial organisations in the Irkutsk Oblast under the Global Funds 4th Round Program.

In conclusion, Semen Krut said that the Oblast Administration would focus its efforts to address HIV problems on HIV prevention and increase budget allocations for these purposes.


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