International AIDS Society


Availability of antiretroviral therapy for HIV-positive patients in St-Petersburg and Orenburg, Russia

O. Levina1, M. Rusakova1, A. Yakovleva1, I. Gurvich2, V. Odinokova1

1NGO Stellit, St-Petersburg, Russian Federation, 2St-Petersburg State University, Psychology Department, St-Petersburg, Russian Federation

Background: In 2005-2006 GLOBUS allowed to eliminate the previously existing shortage in ARV medicine and to provide their sufficient supply in Russia. However, real number of patients under treatment is extremely low and does not reach estimated amount of those who requires ARV treatment. The objective of the study was to find out factors limiting access of ARV therapy for HIV+ patients and to develop recommendations on forming “treatment adherence” in “hard-to-reach” patient groups with HIV+ status and to increase the ART availability for them.The study was initiated and funded by University Research Co., LLC.
Methods: In both cities 551 HIV positive were interviewed. The study group was defined as males and females in the age of 14 to 49, representatives of hard-to-reach populations, who were diagnosed with HIV, not taking ARV treatment at the time of the study. Snowball sampling method was used. Data collection was done in 2006.
Results: Only 2/3 of respondents in both cities demonstrated knowledge on existence of ARV therapy and only 1/5 attended specialized medical institutions for HIV treatment. Belief in efficacy of treatment and readiness to start it if necessary is present only on half of HIV+ patients. Main information source about HIV/AIDS treatment were medical workers, other HIV+ persons and specialized publications. The respondents demonstrated high level of depression, anxiety and “runaway-avoidance” coping strategies. The majority was actual drug users, taking mostly heroin. Regression analysis shown that lower education level, actual drug and alcohol abuse and experience of seeking for medical care were the most significant factors influencing on behavior related to seeking for ARV treatment.
Conclusions: Developed recommendations were formulated as types of measures:
a) increase of rate of primary visits seeking for ART;
b) increased rate of ART restart after it was independently interrupted;
c) maintenance of the ART treatment adherence during its framework.

Mexico City - AIDS 2008
Abstract no. 2008_CDB0286

Suggested Citation
"O.Levina, et al. Availability of antiretroviral therapy for HIV-positive patients in St-Petersburg and Orenburg, Russia. : Mexico City - AIDS 2008: Abstract no. CDB0286"

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