AIDS mortality in Kazakhstan has halved in ten years


May 13, 2022

On May 15, the third Sunday of May, the world celebrates the World Day of Remembrance for those who died of AIDS. This year's UNAIDS motto is “We remember! We are acting! We are more than HIV! The motto calls not to forget those whose lives have been claimed by the epidemic, to actively implement information and prevention programs and projects, to understand that people living with HIV (PLHIV) are more than their disease and they should not be subjected to stigma and discrimination.

In the vast majority of cases, death from AIDS (the end stage of the development of HIV infection) occurs due to the fact that an HIV-positive person does not have the opportunity to receive specialized treatment. Thanks to the achievements of modern medicine, HIV infection has moved from the category of fatal to a chronic disease. By starting treatment with antiretroviral drugs (ARVP) in time and following all the doctor's instructions, PLHIV can live a long and fulfilling life. The quality of life of HIV-positive people thanks to modern methods of treatment is no different from the quality of life of people without HIV infection.In Kazakhstan, AIDS-related deaths have halved in ten years. This indicator is the main result of the increase in the availability of antiretroviral therapy (ART), which is provided to PLHIV free of charge and immediately after diagnosis.- Over the past three years, in cooperation with international and non-governmental public organizations, the country has managed to achieve a significant reduction in purchase prices for ARV drugs. Including the main ones: Tenofovir - 27 times, Emtricitabine - 10 times, Efavirenz - 9 times. Financial savings have significantly increased ART coverage for people living with HIV. The guaranteed volume of free medical care additionally includes 5 new innovative ARVs with high treatment efficiency and safety profile.Today, 18 drugs are included in the List of medicines and medical devices for free and (or) preferential outpatient care for certain categories of citizens, says Asylkhan Abishev, director of the Kazakh Scientific Center for Dermatology and Infectious Diseases of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan (KSCDIZ).As a result of ongoing systematic preventive measures, the situation with the prevalence of HIV infection in the country remains, according to the World Health Organization, at a concentrated stage. Over the year, more than 15 percent increased the volume of testing. Testing coverage of pregnant women upon registration is 99.6%.As part of the implementation of the goals of the UN Political Declaration 2021 and the goals of UNAIDS 95-95-95, in Kazakhstan, 81% of the estimated number of PLHIV know their HIV status, of which 79% are receiving ART, and 86% have an undetectable viral load.The World Day of Remembrance for People Who Died of AIDS is held to remember those who died of AIDS, to express solidarity with PLHIV, to inform about the need for testing, to think about the fact that the HIV epidemic can affect each of us.Memorial Day was first held in the United States in San Francisco in 1983. In 1991, Californian artist Frank Moore created the symbol of the fight against AIDS - a red ribbon that is attached to clothes on this day in solidarity with those affected by the epidemic. Another symbol is the quilt, a patchwork cloth with the names of those who died from AIDS. Candles are lit in their memory.These days, various events and actions are being held in all regions of Kazakhstan with the participation of employees of AIDS Centers, NGOs, civil activists. In Almaty, KSCDIZ organizes a round table with the participation of international organizations and NGOs. Also in Almaty there will be a performance of the social theater "Revenge", among the actors - people living with HIV and representatives of key groups. Capital sights, including the Baiterek monument and the Khanshatyr shopping and entertainment center in Nur-Sultan, will be highlighted in red.Regional sports tournaments are planned in Kostanay - in hand-to-hand combat, in Turkestan - in football, in Almaty region - in volleyball. Physicians of the Pavlodar Regional AIDS Center are invited to the open day. Actions on express testing for HIV will be held in all regions. 

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