Cross-sectional HIV and HCV cascades of care across the regions of Ukraine between 2019 and 2020: findings from the CARE cohort

Olga Fursa*, Joanne Reekie, Ihor Kuzin, Larysa Hetman, Alina Kryshchuk, Olena Starychenko, Nana Hrytsaiuk, Inna Khodus, Alla Nyzhnyk, Viktoriia Rakhuba, Maryna Kovalevska, Tetiana Maistat, Iryna Pryhoda, Marianna Ahieieva, Olena Varvarovska, Olena Valdenmaiier, Jens Lundgren, Lars Peters, CARE study group

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde


INTRODUCTION: Eastern Europe is facing major HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) epidemics, with many people living with HIV (PLHIV) and HIV/HCV coinfection living in Ukraine. Despite the previous progress towards care quality improvement, the ongoing war in Ukraine is disrupting HIV and HCV care.

METHODS: We described an HIV cascade of care (CoC) in PLHIV from two clinical sites and an HCV CoC for anti-HCV-positive PLHIV from six sites in Ukraine, enrolled in the CARE cohort between 1 January 2019 and 1 June 2020. The cross-sectional HIV CoC and HCV CoC are described at study enrolment.

RESULTS: Of 1028 PLHIV, 1014 (98.6%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 97.7-99.3) were on antiretroviral therapy (ART), and 876 (86.4% of those on ART, 95% CI 84.1-88.4) were virologically suppressed. Of 894 participants on ART >6 months, 90.8% (95% CI 88.7-92.6) were virologically suppressed (HIV-RNA <200 copies/ml). Of 2040 anti-HCV-positive PLHIV, 417 (20.4%, 95% CI 18.7-22.3) were ever tested for HCV-RNA prior to enrolment, ranging from 4.9% to 54.4% across sites, and 13.5% were currently HCV-RNA positive. One hundred and eighteen persons (7.3% of ever chronically infected) had received HCV treatment, and 25 persons (1.6% of ever chronically infected) were cured, with variations across sites (0%-7.5%). The site diagnosing 54.4% of people with chronic HCV was the only one providing free RNA testing for all anti-HCV-positive persons, while the intra-country differences in treatment coverage were driven by the number of available direct-acting antiviral (DAA) courses.

CONCLUSIONS: Over 98% of PLHIV in care in both CARE sites in Ukraine were receiving ART, and the target of 90% virally suppressed was achieved in persons >6 months on ART. Only one of six HIV/HCV study sites tested over 50% anti-HCV-positive PLHIV for HCV-RNA and treated over 25% of eligible persons. While free HCV-RNA testing and DAA treatment are paramount to achieving HCV elimination targets, they remained a challenge in Ukraine in 2019-2020. The extent of the HIV and HCV care disruption during the war will be further assessed in the CARE cohort and compared with the pre-war findings.

TidsskriftJournal of the International AIDS Society
Udgave nummer9
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2023


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