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Cent Eur J Public Health. 2009 Mar;17(1):20-4.

Improving quality of prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission services in Ukraine: a focus on provider communication skills and linkages to community-based non-governmental organizations.

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1
PATH, Ukraine Office, Kyiv, Ukraine.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Ukraine has the highest rate of HIV infection in Europe, with an estimated adult prevalence of 1.6 percent. The epidemic in Ukraine remains largely driven by injection drug use, and women of reproductive age are being increasingly affected. Prior research has highlighted the need to improve the quality of services for prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) and to address other issues related to HIV counseling, testing, and care, especially in the context of antenatal and obstetric services.

METHODS:

From 2004 to 2007, PATH led a collaborative effort to improve the quality of PMTCT services in Ukraine. Initial assessments included focus groups with Ukrainian women and review of existing educational materials. Interventions focused on training providers to improve skills in communication and referral to community-based support; they also addressed the underlying issue of stigma.

RESULTS:

Observational data demonstrated that providers who participated in the training intervention delivered PMTCT counseling of a consistently higher quality than did providers who did not undergo training. Exit interviews with clients confirmed these findings.

CONCLUSIONS:

An intervention focused on strengthening voluntary counseling and testing for HIV, forging partnerships with local organizations, and undoing HIV-related stigma can help to improve access to and quality of PMTCT services in antenatal care clinics.

PMID:
19418715
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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