Pact and partners launch new USAID project to accelerate Ukraine’s HIV epidemic control

November 30, 2021
A learning event that was part of RESPOND, a USAID/PEPFAR-funded HIV program that Pact implemented in Ukraine from 2012-17. Credit: Pact.

Pact has launched a new project to accelerate Ukraine’s efforts to achieve HIV epidemic control by 2030 through improved prevention, testing and linkages to care among key and priority populations. The Community Action for HIV Control activity is a five-year, $19.4 million project awarded to Pact by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

“Pact is proud to commit our knowledge, expertise and values to this project and to serving key and priority populations affected by HIV in Ukraine,” said James Grall, Pact’s regional director for Asia and Europe. “Pact’s 50-year history is proof that close collaboration among government, civil society and clinical partners is the key to success."

Through an inclusive approach, Pact, with its technical partners, FHI 360 and Ukraine’s AIDS Foundation East-West (AFEW), will meaningfully engage, capacitate, empower and strengthen key population-led community-based organizations (CBOs) and HIV service nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to lead, deploy and monitor adaptive, data-driven solutions for improving contextually appropriate, client-centered HIV services. To make this happen, the project will emphasize engagement with key and priority population communities and strengthen an enabling policy environment that builds their access to rights-oriented services.

“This program builds upon achievements and lessons learned from previous HIV/AIDS interventions, both from a public health and human rights approach,” said Ihor Kuzin, Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Health. “It complements existing and forthcoming HIV/AIDS initiatives, including those supported by the Global Fund and the United States government."

The program will collaborate with key and priority population leaders and experts in bolstering the role of civil society in the HIV response and tailoring interventions to clients’ risks, preferences and needs. The focus on flexible service delivery modalities means the program will deliver appropriate technical and organizational activities through a robust system of stakeholders, specifically NGOs and CBOs, with continuous coordination with Ukrainian government health and policy agencies.

"I am confident that this project will help more people to know their HIV status, and people living with HIV will be linked to HIV care, which will help us to reach UNAIDS 95- 95-95 goals for HIV epidemic control in Ukraine,” said Volodymyr Kurpita, the project’s chief of party. “This project is a well-designed plan to reach ambitious goals and implement the best international knowledge in Ukraine."

With a broad range of partners, USAID has actively responded to infectious diseases, particularly HIV/AIDS, through funding from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Community Action for HIV Control will sync its epidemic control efforts with ongoing U.S. government programs supported by USAID and the CDC to build on lessons learned and existing effective HIV interventions.

Learn more about Pact's global HIV/AIDS work here.