Meeting with Gilead

During the meeting of Ukrainian Community Advisory Board (UCAB) with the representatives of Gilead Sciences, an opportunity to supply in-kind drugs donation for more than 3,000 Ukrainian patients living with HIV was discussed.

«We predict treatment interruptions in the autumn of this year in Ukraine due to delays and shortages in state treatment procurement», said Dmytro Sherembey, the Head of UCAB, and the Director of Communication, Policy & Advocacy Department of the All-Ukrainian Network of PLWH. He continued, «As our Government is unable to provide people with essential drugs, we, the patients directly asked pharmaceutical companies to donate treatment for people in need. First of all, it was done to prevent treatment interruptions, which could also happen at the beginning of this year. Nevertheless, this step is like „first aid“ for those people. In order to overcome the epidemic, the Government should significantly revise the process of ART supply for PLWH. In case this doesn’t happen, there is no possibility to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in Ukraine in a couple of years».

Leading national experts provided training for the patients in UCAB on the basics of treatment and diagnostics in the area of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis. «No later than 2013 the current clinical protocol on ART for HIV should be revised, and I actively support participation of PLWH in this process» said Dr Svitlana Antonyak, the Head of HIV/AIDS Department of the Institute of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases named after Hromashevskyi L.V. of the Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine. Dr Antonyak continued, «I consider that The All-Ukrainian Network of PLWH is doing its best to support patients in playing the main role in this process, as their lives directly depend on it.»

Another achievement of the UCAB meeting with Gilead was the agreement to include Ukraine into the list of countries, where the last phase of clinical trials could be held. These trials are launched for many years around the world and in the final stage. Olha Havrylova, Deputy Head of UCAB and CEO of the NGO Stop Hepatitis” stated «Many Ukrainians could get newly invented drugs free of charge. It could be a real breakthrough for our country, where Hepatitis C treatment is not available for an average citizen. While there are up to 5% of the total population of Ukraine are living with Hepatitis C and the cost of an annual treatment coarse is about US$20,000. Unfortunately, due to the gaps in the State Budget, sick people come to our organization almost every day with the only request: please help us to find treatment.»

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