Moldova took several steps backward in HIV/AIDS testing and treatment, UNAIDS

The Republic of Moldova took several steps backward in HIV/AIDS testing and treatment, the number of tests and persons who started antiretroviral treatment for HIV in 2020 declining by 30%. This means HIV will be either detected late or not at all, the state of health of the person living with HIV worsens, the quality of life declines and the person can die, Svetlana Plămădeală, UNAIDS Country Manager, stated in a news conference held to launch the national campaign “Just Test: take an HIV test immediately”, IPN reports.

According to Svetlana Plămădeală, a study conducted in the UK showed that mortality among the persons living with HIV is twice higher than among the general population. In the Republic of Moldova, half of the persons living with HIV are at an advanced stage of infection or even have AIDS, while another half do not know their HIV status.    

As part of the campaign, the citizens are urged to have an HIV test. In the Republic of Moldova, a test for HIV is done free of charge, voluntarily and anonymously, at any medical institution, at the family doctor or at the head office of a nongovernmental organization. Newer, testing is also available within mobile services and at drugstores.

Yuri Klimashevski, coordinator of the HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases National Program, said that about 10,000 persons with HIV are officially registered in Moldova and 7,000 of these receive antiretroviral therapy. Studies show the persons living with HIV number about 15,000 and the symptoms of the disease appear at the terminal stage, AIDS. The people should do an HIV test and, if the result is positive, should receive antiretroviral therapy that is modern and offers the chance to live up to old age. The person receiving such treatment takes a pill each evening and practically does not transmit the infection through sexual intercourse.  

Ruslan Poverga, director general of the Public Association “Inițiativa Pozitivă” (“Positive Initiative”), told the same news conference that all the medicines included in antiretroviral therapy are bought by the state.

During the campaign period of October 15 – November 30, the chain of drugstores “Farmacia Familiei” will distribute free HIV test kits.

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