On May 20th, AHF ran the first educational course at the patient school in Kyiv.
The patient school is an effective educational format for involving patients in the conscious initiation and continuation of the process of antiretroviral therapy (ART).
Despite the wide availability of antiretroviral therapy in Ukraine, there is a certain group of patients who refuse to start ART treatment, and there are also patients who discontinue this important therapy.
According to the AHF experts, the aforementioned attitude to HIV treatment is caused by the lack of awareness about the importance of antiretroviral therapy.
The event consisted of two parts:
1. Presentation was made by an AHF physician, who covered medical aspects of antiretroviral therapy, benefits of the early initiation of ART and the continuum of services;
2. A “peer-to-peer” session, during which participants had an opportunity to share their thoughts and ask questions. The aforementioned session was held by an AHF social worker.
By analyzing feedback from the participants in the “patient school”, we have reached a conclusion that such an event is extremely useful to patients, who asked us to include the following topics in the program of future studies, namely: “side effects of ARV drugs”, “HIV and hepatitis”, “cardiovascular diseases in HIV patients”.
But the most important result of the activities of the patient school is the initiation of ART treatment by one of the participants, who was categorically against antiretroviral therapy in the recent past.