Belarus shows ART shortages in places of confinement

Republican NGO “Belarusian Community of PLWH” monitors access to ART within HIV treatment in Belarus as a part of its activities.
People often address us various issues regarding living with HIV, treatment and ART adherence.
According this, the organization applied to the Country Coordinating Mechanism on cooperation with Global Fund to consider providing treatment for HIV-positive people in places of confinement, as well as to ask about the situation with ART shortages and interruptions in prisons in Belarus. Belarusian Community of PLWH organized a competent commission including specialists representing state, international, public organizations, practicing infectious disease doctors and civil society to specify this issue and determine at what stage the process of continuous HIV treatment in prisons brakes.
On August 4, Minsk held CCM extraordinary session considering topic of Providing ARVs for HIV treatment in places of confinement. Several case studies, related to ART supplies shortages and absence of necessary treatment for patients in prisons, were presented during the session.
For a long time, people in prisons have a lot of myths about HIV treatment. Many of them refused treatment, and many of them died. Both infectious disease doctors supervising places of imprisonment in Belarus and NGOs made a lot of efforts to popularize HIV treatment and adherence. But all work that we’ve done may be wasted because of regular shortages of ARVs supplies.
We think that all responsible ARVs suppliers definitely know what was and is happening with treatment in correctional institutions. It is just necessary to find the strength to recognize our mistakes and prevent them in the future. We all, who are not indifferent to this situation, are ready to help in this process to increase the continuous access to treatment wherever HIV-patients are,” – said Alena Khadanovich, representative of Republican NGO “Belarusian Community of PLWH”.
At the moment, ART shortages have been recorded in the colonies of Zarechye, Orsha and Mozyr.