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30.10.06

The local authorities fail to perform with due diligence to combat drug use and counteract the HIV-infection spread in the region, stated Alexander Tishanin, Governor of the Irkutsk Oblast to conclude the discussion during the Time to Live Tele-Marathon which took place in Irkutsk last Friday. In addition, the Governor committed himself to introducing particularly strict control measures to address this problem in the region. He also warned that all related regional agencies would be held stringently accountable for failures to perform with due diligence.

The Time to Live Tele-Marathon to discuss HIV-related problems connected two cities Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk on October 27, 2006. The discussion participants included: Alexander Tishanin, officials from the Oblast and City Administrations, parliamentarians, health workers, civil society representatives and people directly affected with HIV. Vladimir Pozner, programme host, said that Irkutsk was the fifteenth city where such a tele-marathon was produced.

The Irkutsk Oblast ranks the second in the number of HIV-infected people surpassed only by St-Petersburg. According to the Irkutsk Oblast Health Administration, there are over 20,000 registered HIV-positive persons in the Oblast. Health specialists affirm that the most prevalent route of transmission is drug use.
Alexander Tishanin deems it necessary to introduce an integrated approach to counteract the HIV spread in the region. The Governors vision of the way out consists in comprehensive public awareness and information, drug use prevention, and enhanced drug trafficking control.

First of all, it is necessary to eradicate the prime cause of the HIV spread which is drug use. There is a need to assess the magnitude of this evil, the actual number of active drug users. According to official statistics, there are 12,860 drug users in the region. However, their actual number is several times higher, said Alexander Tishanin.


29.10.06

The Russian Health Care Foundation provided funding for the Time to Live Tele-Marathon and was actively involved in its preparation and performance in Irkutsk. This is the 15th city where such a talk-show was made to discuss problems arising from the HIV growth. The program was hosted by Vladimir Pozner, a well-known TV journalist. There was a direct communication with Krasnoyarsk where HIV/AIDS problems are addressed more successfully.

It is not for nothing that Irkutsk is chosen for these purposes by the Russian Health Care Foundation: its HIV burden is the second heaviest in Russia, but the causes of such a situation are not properly defined.

A TV project team was to explore the situation before the talk-show. The team requested A. Pankratov, RHCF Coordinator for the Irkutsk Oblast, to facilitate their efforts to this end. Together with the TV project team, he arrived in Irkutsk one week before the talk-show. They had meetings with HIV-positive people, medical staff, officials, and representatives from non-commercial organisations. Eventually, the team collected as much information about the situation in Irkutsk as possible to find out whose inaction had contributed to its adverse development. They also compared the results with other regions. It was very important for the scenario of the TV program.

"We are shocked with the placidity on the part of the AIDS Centre management. According to B.V. Tsvetkov, Chief Physician of the AIDS Centre, it is adequately staffed with medical personnel and provided with necessary premises and other facilities. In other regions, doctors share their concerns whereas Irkutsk appears to have no problems at all. They say that everything is fine," said Yulia Velichkina, General Producer, Time to Live Tele-Marathon, without trying to hide her distress and indignation.

They manage to remain so indifferent even with over 20,000 officially registered HIV-infection cases in the Oblast. The only Russian region with a greater number of HIV-infected people is the City of St-Petersburg. But there was also a positive feature in Irkutsk - it was noted that in no other region, the regional authorities had expressed such an interest to the talk-show. Both the Mayer and the Governor promised to attend it.

The direct broadcast of the Tele-Marathon failed due to deteriorated satellite communications, and it was recorded to be broadcast later which allowed to increase its time to 1.5 hours. Physicians, politicians, officials, journalists, HIV-infected people and many other participants not only answered questions from Vladimir Pozner, but also disputed, expressed their opinions and tried to find ways to stop the epidemic in Priangarye.

The recorded talk-show appeared on TV screens on October 28, 2006, in the evening.

[Video] (1326 kb)

26.10.06

On October 24 26, 2006, a team of experts visited the Ulyanovsk Oblast to assess the regions needs and capacity to implement the Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation.

The team consisted of:
N.N. Ladnaya, needs assessment expert from the Federal AIDS Centre;
G.V. Roshchupkin, independent needs assessment expert representing the NCO community;
E.I. Skachkova, monitoring and evaluation expert from the Central Public Health Research Institute;
Yu.B. Brodskaya, project coordinator.

During the visit, the experts had meetings with:
V.P. Kozin, Deputy Chairman, Ulyanovsk Oblast Government;
N.F. Emelyantseva, Director, Health and Drug Supply Department, Ulyanovsk Oblast Government;
T.A. Bevzyuk, Acting Director, Health Service, Ulyanovsk Oblast Department, Federal Prison Service;
G.I. Keselev, Deputy Director, Health Service, Ulyanovsk Oblast Department, Federal Prison Service;
S.Kh. Ibragimova, Chief Physician, Regional AIDS Centre;
B.V. Peskov, Chief Physician, Regional Narcological Hospital;
E.A. Khodyreva, Ulyanovsk Oblast Department, Federal Drug Trafficking Control Service;
G.A. Batrakova, Chairperson, Regional Unit, Russian Red Cross;
Leaders and representatives of the Stronghold (Opora) PLWHA Association;
Mass media
Representatives from various Ulyanovsk NCOs engaged in HIV/AIDS prevention and outreach activities.

During these meetings, their participants:
1. discussed key activities to be implemented in the Ulyanovsk Oblast under the Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation.
2. negotiated the first draft Program Participation Agreement for the Ulyanovsk Oblast.
3. discussed the establishment and potential composition of a committee for coordinating HIV/AIDS control actions in the Ulyanovsk Oblast.
4. discussed the composition of a program implementation working group.

The team concluded that the Ulyanovsk Oblast Government was ready to participate in the Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS and TB Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation and might sign the Agreement with the Russian Health Care Foundation within the nearest time (November December 2006).


20.10.06

The HIV/AIDS epidemic feminization has resulted into a dramatic growth in the number of children born of HIV-positive mothers. Today, there are about 30,000 of them in Russia. It is extremely difficult to find kindergartens and schools which would accept HIV-positive babies or even HIV-negative children born of HIV-infected mothers people are afraid of them, humiliate and refuse to communicate with them.

The FOCUS-MEDIA Foundation, UNICEF and the UNAIDS discussed this situation during a talk-show on October 20, 2006 in the Moscow House of Journalists. The talk-show participants included:
- Olga Sharapova, Director, Department of Medical and Social Family, Mother and Child Problems, MOHSD;
- Carel de Roy, UNICEF Representative in the Russian Federation and Byelorussia,
- Andrey Gerish, Manager, Division of Youth Policies, Ministry of Education and Science,
- Khedi Aidamirova, Chief-Physician, AIDS Centre, Groznyy, Chechnya,
- Alexandr Goliusov, Manager, AIDS Surveillance Unit, Federal Oversight Service for Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare,
- Deputy Chief Physician, Isolation Hospital, Ust-Izhora, Leningrad Oblast,
- Aleksey Lysenkov, TV Program Host, AIDS-Ambulance TV Program (TNT Channel),
- Oksana Barkalova, FOCUS-MEDIA Foundation,
- Bertil Lindblad, UNAIDS Representative in Russia,
- Mikhail Grishankov, Deputy Chairman, Security Committee, State Duma of the Russian Federation,
- Elena Turilina, Russian Health Care Foundation,
- Svetlana Izambayeva, TV program anchor, AIDS-Ambulance TV Program (TNT Channel).

The talk-show was hosted by Ekaterina Sryvkova, a well-know radio program host (Maximum Radio). A new mass media campaign under the motto: I care for every child! was launched during the talk-show. The video spot to advertise it was produced with an input from Oleg Gazmanov, a popular singer. All the guests received information booklets, discs with the video spot, and souvenirs.

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18.10.06

Under its HIV/AIDS Control and Prevention Project in the Russian Federation (Phase II), the World Health Organisation convened a meeting of the most active organisations implementing ARV therapy training programs in Russia. Invited participants represented the Ministry of Health and Social Development of the Russian Federation, the Federal AIDS Centre, the Russian Health Care Foundation and various international and non-governmental organisations.

T.N. Yermak and N.N. Ladnaya (from the Federal AIDS Centre) informed the meeting about the Centres training plans for 2006 2007, including trainings to be provided jointly with the Russian Health Care Foundation.

M. Shegay and A. Pankratov (Coordinators from the Russian Health Care Foundation) summed up the ARV treatment training activities in nine Russian regions under the 4th Round Project of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.

The meeting participants agreed to continue to coordinate their efforts to deliver trainings, contributing in this way to scaling up ARV treatment in Russia.
They up-dated their common database of trainers and trainees which is replenished on a regular basis.

The participants re-affirmed their intention to hold such participatory meetings on a regular basis to inform all stakeholders in a timely manner about the plans for and progress with ARV treatment training activities, trainers and training materials disseminated in the nine Russian regions under the 4th Round Project of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.


17.10.06

Based on the results of an open-end tender, the Advisory Council approved the decision to award grants for Psychological and Social Support Projects for HIV-Infected Children with a Focus on Orphans under the Global Fund Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation to the following organizations:
1. Oryol Oblast Centre for Psychological, Medical, Social and Educational Support for Children in Need (a public sector institution);
2. Diagnosis and Counselling Centre for Children in Need of Psychological, Educational, Medical and Social Support, Lipetsk Oblast (a public sector institution);
3. Irkutsk Oblast Division, Russian Red Cross;
4. Magistr (Master) Novosibirsk City Education and Health Centre (a Municipal Institution of Additional Education);
5. Chuvash Republics Centre for Psychological and Educational Rehabilitation and Management under the Chuvash Republics Ministry of Education
6. Moscow State Technical University named after N. Bauman;
7. Oblast Diagnosis and Counselling Centre for Children in Need of Psychological, Educational, Medical and Social Support, Rostov-on-the-Don;
8. Centre for Psychological, Medical and Social Management for Children and Adolescents under the Education Department, Government of the City of Moscow;
9. Diagnosis and Counselling Centre for Children in Need of Psychological, Educational, Medical and Social Support, the City of Ulan-Ude (a municipal institution);
10. Centre for Psychological and Educational Rehabilitation and Management (a public sector instruction), Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug Yugra;
11. Child, Youth and Family Social Health Centre (a public sector institution), Kostroma;
12. Institute of Special Education and Special Psychology (Non-Governmental Higher Education Institution), St-Petersburg;
13. Kaliningrad Oblast Diagnosis and Counselling Centre for Children in Need of Psychological, Educational, Medical and Social Support, (a public sector institution);
14. Take Care of Yourself Chelyabinsk City Charity Foundation;
15. Drug Addiction Prevention Centre, St-Petersburg;
16. Social Support Centre for Family and Children, Magnitogorsk.


16.10.06

On October 16 20, 2006, the Federal AIDS Centre jointly with the Russian Health Care Foundation will deliver an HIV/AIDS treatment training seminar for specialists from the Regional AIDS Centres, jointing the Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation, in 2006 2007.

In November December, the Program will also organize trainings in vertical transmission prevention, ARV treatment adherence, therapy for IDUs, adherence in prisons, laboratory diagnostics, palliative care, and psychosocial care to PLWHA.

[Shedule] (91 kb)

14.10.06

On October 11 13, 2006, a team of experts visited the Perm Kray to assess its needs and capacity to implement the Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation, and to finalize the draft Program Participation Agreement of the Region with the Russian Health Care Foundation.

The team consisted of:
R.S. Narsiya, needs assessment expert from the Federal AIDS Centre;
N.A. Nedzelsky, needs assessment expert representing the NCO community, Director, INFO-Plus Public Awareness Centre;
S.K. Vladimirov, M&E expert, Central Public Health Research Institute;
A.V. Pankratov, Project Coordinator, Russian Health Care Foundation.

During the visit, the experts had meetings with:
V.A. Sukhikh, Deputy Chairman, Perm Kray Government;
Sh.A. Biktayev, First Deputy Ministry of Health of the Perm Kray;
Director, Health Division, Department for the Perm Kray, Federal Prison Service;
Chief Physician, Narcological Centre (Dispensary), Perm City;
Chief Physician, Dermatological and Venereal Disease Centre (Dispensary), Perm City;
K.M. Khafizov, Chief Physician, Regional AIDS and ID Centre;
Representatives from relevant NCOs; and
Representatives from the PLWHA community.

During these meetings, their participants:
1.negotiated the Program Participation Agreement for the Perm Kray.
2.agreed that the Ministry of Health of the Perm Kray would prepare an Order On Establishing a Coordinating and Supervisory Council for the Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation.
3.discussed the composition of and the Regulation on the Coordinating Council.
4.approved the composition of the program implementation working group to be chaired K.M. Khafizov, Chief Physician, Regional AIDS and ID Centre and Regional Coordinator for the Program in the Perm Kray.

The team concluded that the Perm Kray Government was ready to participate in the Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS and TB Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation and might sign the Agreement with the Russian Health Care Foundation within the nearest time (late October early November 2006).


09.10.06

Based on the results of a tender, the Advisory Council approved the decision to award the grant to finance a project for Selecting, Producing and Disseminating Information Materials on Psychosocial Support to PLWHA, their Safe Behaviour to Prevent HIV Transmission and Information for PLWHAs Relatives and Care-Givers under the Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation to the Take Care of Yourself Chelyabinsk City Charity Foundation.

[Application] (138 kb)

06.10.06

On October 2 5, 2006, a team of experts visited the Rostov Oblast to assess its needs and capacity to implement the Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation, and to finalize the draft Program Participation Agreement of the Region with the Russian Health Care Foundation.
The team consisted of:
V.G. Kanestry, PhD, needs assessment expert from the Federal AIDS Centre;

N.A. Nedzelsky, needs assessment expert representing the NCO community, Director, INFO-Plus Public Awareness Centre;
S.K. Vladimirov, M&E expert, Central Public Health Research Institute;
A.V. Pankratov, Project Coordinator, Russian Health Care Foundation.

During the visit, the experts had meetings with:
A.I. Bedrik, Deputy Governor, Rostov Oblast Administration;
T.Yu. Bykovskaya, Miniter of Health of the Rostov Oblast;
L.A. Zhabin, Director, Health Division, Department for the Rostov Oblast, Federal Prison Service;
V.A. Nikolayev, Head, Division of Interagency Cooperation in the Area of Prevention, Department for the Rostov Oblast, Federal Service of Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Trafficking Control;
E.A. Chernov, Deputy Director, Centre for Preventing Abuse of Psychoactive Substances;
D.K. Tsimbalenko, Director, Centre for Drug Addiction Prevention;
A.P. Botin, Deputy Chief Physician, Narcological Centre (Dispensary) in the City of Rostov;
A.A. Tkach, Chairperson, Rostov Union of Children and Youth Organisations;
V.K. Tsunik, President, Ark-Anti-AIDS Rostov Regional Non-Governmental Organisation;
V.I. Tateosov, Head, Salvation Army in the Rostov Oblast;
M. Deafley, Director, Bridge International Charity Foundation;
E.B. Beketova, Chief Physician, Regional AIDS and ID Centre;
Representatives from the PLWHA community.

During these meetings, their participants:
1.negotiated the Program Participation Agreement for the Rostov Oblast.
2.agreed that the Ministry of Health of the Rostov Oblast would prepare an Order On Establishing a Regional Coordinating and Supervisory Council for the Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation.
3.discussed the composition of and the Regulation on the Coordinating Council.
4.approved the composition of the program implementation working group to be chaired E.B. Beketova, Chief Physician, Regional AIDS and ID Centre and Regional Coordinator for Program in the Rostov Oblast.

The team concluded that the Rostov Oblast Administration was ready to participate in the Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS and TB Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation and might sign the Agreement with the Russian Health Care Foundation within the nearest time (late October early November 2006).


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