Fast-Track partners meeting in Odesa

On February 28, partners’ meeting was held in Odesa to present impressive results of the HIV/AIDS response in the city. Exactly 2 years ago, within the framework of the APH regional project “Fast-track TB/HIV responses for key populations in EECA cities,” the Odesa municipality joined the global Fast Track Cities initiative to overcome the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030. The well-coordinated work of the Alliance, the Odesa municipality, partner NGOs and key populations led to an increase of 50% in the number of patients receiving ARV therapy in the city. To compare, in Kyiv, which is also Fast Track city, over the same period, progress was 43%, and even less all over Ukraine – only 37%.

“Two years ago Odesa made a strong decision to become a Fast-Track city, which means accelerated actions in the fight against HIV and tuberculosis. The APH accompanied the Odesa municipality all this time, and today the city, in partnership with non-governmental organizations and key populations, has been reporting on convincing results – the number of people receiving ARV therapy increased by 50% compared with 2016. Significant results in the fight against tuberculosis – the introduction of patient-oriented programs improved the level of treatment of tuberculosis from 56% in 2016 to 77.4% in 2018, and even to 82.8% as part of a DOT pilot.” – said the Executive Director of ICF “Alliance for Public Health” Andriy Klepikov.

“The success of Odesa in the fight against HIV/AIDS is the merit of a great collective and harmonized cooperation of city authorities and non-governmental organizations. We are very grateful to public organizations, in particular, to the  Alliance for Public Health, which is one of the key organizations in the HIV/AIDS and TB epidemic response, for sharing their experience of work with key populations at local either at the regional level. That gave us the opportunity to observe familiar thinks from different perspective and become more effective in achieving the goals of the Fast Track Cities initiative.” – said Svetlana Bedrega, the Deputy City Mayor.

“The Fast Track Cities initiative involves mutual responsibility and accountability of local authorities and civil society under the strong leadership of the Mayor. We could see this in Kyiv, and now we see it in Odessa, where the Mayor and civil society jointly report to the city council on achievements and work together to find the most effective way to achieve goals 90-90-90.” – said UNAIDS Director in Ukraine Roman Gailevich.