Public discussion of ways of treating people with HIV
Public discussion begins on new ways of treating people with HIV
Ministry of Health officials have been forced to recognise that the old system designed to support people with HIV has failed and to commit to a new approach.
On 16 January a public discussion began to build a new system for providing medical treatment to people with HIV as part of a Ministry of Health initiative. The official government website states (сообщается) that the discussion will run to 30h January.
Kirill Barsky, who works for the Agency for Strategic Initiatives and heads up the ‘Steps’ project of a regional AIDS charity, gave his comments on the new approach. ‘There is nothing substantially new in our document. We are very pleased that there are no new negative elements that the public could seriously oppose.’
The document (full details can be found here – документа) states that people with HIV are eligible for additional support, on both a planned and an emergency basis. Barsky explained that AIDS centres will continue to have responsibility for providing support to people with HIV and AIDS and confirmed that they will continue to provide assistance to all patients, regardless of their HIV status. He noted: ‘There are some truly excellent aspects to the document, such as recognising the importance of rapid testing and using the latest drugs in the prevention of HIV infection.’
The document provides out the basis on which patients suspected of having the virus are screened. It also sets out methods for identifying high-risk behaviour and high-risk groups, it explains the advice to be given to people who are exposed to the virus, and recognises the rights of people to preserve their anonymity while undergoing tests.
Barsky added: ‘The issue of rapid testing has always been in doubt, and I understand why. Rapid tests only give provisional results, not definitive ones. After provisional testing, many patients disappear. Here is the dilemma – is it better for people to find out and then vanish or is it better for them not to know and not to have the tests at all?’ Barsky added that the document, as it stands, broadens opportunities for prophylactic work.