Online support for PLHIV community
During the COVID-pandemic we faced few serious points that we responded through actions and initiatives:
the fear of the PLHIV to go to hospitals to take their treatment as at that point, all infectious disease hospitals in Romania were mainly for COVID patients.
Also, because of the pandemic situation, the patients faced problems in accessing their ARV treatment or their treatment scheme have been changed without their approval. All these problems were out there but we didn t know how many problems there were or at which hospitals.
We have developed www.tratamentARV.ro which is the first and only transparent and public monitoring mechanism of the level of access of the patients to ARV treatment. Basically, the patients are reporting the hospitals where these problems are, we try to find out what is going on by talking to other patients in the aria or doctors active in those hospitals, we put the problems on the map and in this way every patient and the public authorities can see how many problems there are in real time/in 6 months/in 12 months. Also, each hospital has it s own track record with all the situations in which patients did not have access to their treatment.
Also, we started an online support group which included sessions every Monday for several months.
On our online support group, we are now at sezon 4 and we had a lot of guests from different arias – doctors, psychologists, nutrition specialists, actors, HR managers etc. Now we have 64 registered persons living with HIV for the group and the moderator is also living with HIV.
During the first 6 months of the pandemic, with help from ViiV UK, we distributed 400 free protection KITs to 400 persons living with HIV from Romania. 1 kit contained: 4 reusable masks, 2 KN95 masks, 40 one use medical gloves, 1 medical face visor, 1 sanitizer for hands containing 70% alcohol, 1 glycerine hand cream as treatment for the constant use of the hand sanitizer, 1 educational material regarding the strategies a person living with HIV should follow to protect oneself against COVID-19 and the life with HIV in the pandemic caused by COVID-19, 1 paper personalized bag and 3 DUREX condoms.