Today a round table is held in Astana to discuss the results of the ART Accessibility Overview (the Overview), inviting representatives of state authorities of the Republic of Kazakhstan and international agencies, as well as prominent national and international experts in HIV/AIDS response area. The discussion is aimed to consolidating the efforts, experience and best practices of the government and NGOs to accelerate HIV response in Kazakhstan.
The Overview collected relevant information on existing barriers and challenges that impede the expansion of access to HIV treatment. The East Europe and Central Asia Union of People Living with HIV initiated the Overview, which was then implemented by the community of Kazakhstan experts on access to HIV/TB and hepatitis treatment. It should be noted that Kazakhstan is already the 4th country in the last six months where patient organizations have performed an analysis of the current legal barriers hindering access to treatment.
The main issues of the agenda were as follows:
- medications and public procurement,
- patent barriers and their influence on the ARV therapy provision in accordance with international and national HIV treatment protocols,
- the existing regulatory legal framework on intellectual property in Kazakhstan,
- ways to overcome the existing legal, regulatory, economic and other barriers,
- trends in the EECA region and the best global experience in providing treatment to all who need it.
Representatives of the Pharmaceutics Committee of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Pharmacia LLC, the Foundation of Women Living with HIV in Kazakhstan, the Kazakhstan Union of People Living with HIV, the Republican AIDS Center, the Kazakh Association “From Peer to Peer”, “AGEP’C” Public Foundation, “Balakai-Shymkent” Civic Foundation, UNDP, UNICEF, Astana City AIDS Center, East Europe and Central Asia Union of People Living with HIV participated in the event.
According to official statistics*, the cumulative number of HIV cases among the citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan was 27,126 people. The prevalence of HIV among the general population of the Republic of Kazakhstan is 0.1%, prevalence indicator per 100 000 population is 108.9 in 2016 (compared to 103 in 2015).
The number of PLWH is 19,113, among them 16,429 people are enrolled on the dispensary record with the diagnosis of HIV infection. 9,919 of PLWH need antiretroviral therapy, 7,994 or 80.6% of those who need ART actually receive it. In 2016, 94.6% of HIV-infected pregnant women received PMTCT, the perinatal transmission rate was 1.5%. The AIDS death rate per 1000 PLWH was 9.4. According to 2016 data, the parenteral route of HIV transmission associated with intravenous drug use accounts for 29.7% of HIV cases, 62.4% are attributed to sexual transmission.
Similar Overviews and roundtables were earlier held in Moldova, Kyrgyzstan and Lithuania. These events take place within the framework of the regional program “Partnership for Equal Access to the Continuum of HIV Services for all Who Need it in the EECA Region”, implemented by the East Europe and Central Asia Union of People Living with HIV (ECUO PLWH) with the support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
* Data as of the end of 2016