AHF and IAPAC Join Forces to Advance Nurses-Led HIV Care in Eastern Europe

BARCELONA, Spain–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Coinciding with the European HIV Nursing Conference (EHNC 2016), which
is being hosted in Barcelona, Spain on Nov. 18-19 by the International
Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC)
in partnership with the European HIV Nursing Network (EHNN), National
HIV Nurses Association (NHIVNA)
and AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF),
AHF and IAPAC signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at
strengthening the role and leadership of allied HIV healthcare
professionals in Eastern Europe.

The eastern part of Europe is disproportionately affected by HIV. The
region is experiencing rising HIV infections, low HIV treatment coverage
and challenges with healthcare staffing and resources. To help address
these challenges, AHF Europe has a strong operational presence in
Estonia, Russian Federation and Ukraine, with a combined total of 43,802
patients in care and over 150,000 people who have been tested for HIV in
2016. Through its programs in the region, AHF Europe is able to
implement patient centered programs in line with its global mission to
provide cutting-edge medicine to those in need, and its advancement of
implementation of “Test and Treat” strategy across the world.

“The MoU with IAPAC provides a much-needed platform for exchange of good
practices among nurses from different regions of Europe,” said Anna
Zakowicz
, Deputy Bureau Chief of AHF Europe. “It also supports a
competitive approach, increases motivation of medical teams for applying
successful teamwork, implementing patient-centered care, optimizing HIV
services and as a result improving HIV treatment and care outcomes for
the patients.”

“We enthusiastically welcome the participation of delegations of
healthcare teams from Eastern Europe, a region where the burden of HIV
and AIDS continues to grow,” said Dr. Benjamin Young, the
Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of IAPAC. “Eliminating
AIDS as a public health threat will require fully implementing universal
HIV treatment as recommended in the World Health Organization and IAPAC
guidelines, and recognizing that stigma, discrimination and
criminalization are critical barriers to HIV testing and treatment.”

Through a competition organised in three Eastern European countries,
medical teams including nurses, feldshers, social workers and medical
doctors from Estonia, Russia and Ukraine were able to participate in the
EHNC 2016. They presented abstracts related to task shifting and
differentiated care approaches, and shared their experiences of
supporting people living with HIV during a special session with a focus
on Eastern Europe. Through onsite translation and live streaming, care
providers in the Russian-speaking countries had the opportunity to
follow and engage in the sessions and learn about developments in HIV
nursing care.

“It is fantastic that internationally we are continuing to endeavor to
work towards UNAIDS targets of 90x90x90, despite global challenges,”
said Michelle Croston, Chair of the National HIV Nursing
Association (UK). “I would urge us to consider adding another 90, which
focuses on holistic wellbeing for people living with HIV. Meetings such
as this provide a forum for strengthening our commitment to this
happening.”

Ian Hodgson from the European HIV Nursing Network said,
“International meetings such as the European HIV Nursing Conference
offer key opportunities to share evidence of best practice in HIV care,
strengthen nursing leadership, and develop frameworks for integrated
approaches with civil society organisations supporting people living
with HIV.”

“Strengthening the workforce with a focus on task shifting and an
increased role of nurses in providing HIV care are essential and
important elements to achieve AHF’s 20×20 campaign goal of having at
least 20 million people on life-saving treatment by 2020 globally,” said Zoya
Shabarova
, Bureau Chief of AHF Europe. “This collaboration with
IAPAC will bring about much needed transformation in the service
delivery in Eastern Europe and hopefully will bring all of us closer to
controlling the HIV epidemic in this part of the globe.”

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS
organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over
645,000 individuals in 37 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin
America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn
more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org,
find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth
and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare
and Instagram: @aidshealthcare

Contacts

AHF
Ged Kenslea, Senior Director, Communications
+1.323.308.1833
work
+1.323.791.5526 mobile
gedk@aidshealth.org
or
AHF
Europe
Anna Zakowicz, Deputy Bureau Chief
+31 6 28744655
anna.zakowicz@aidshealth.org
or
IAPAC
Benjamin
Young,
Sr. VP & Chief Medical Officer
+1 303 513-9373
byoung@iapac.org
or
EHNN
Ian
Hodgson,
Global Health Expert
+44 7966 680418
hodgsonian@gmail.com
or
NHIVNA
(UK)
Michelle Croston, Chair
michelle.croston@yahoo.com