Programme EECA Interact 2021

WhenAutumn 2022

The virtual EECA INTERACT workshop was facilitated by Scientific Co-Chairs Prof. MD Cate Hankins and Prof. MD Michel Kazatchkine, with each individual panel presided over by guest regional experts.

Session on the integration of HIV, TB, and overdose prevention services

Integrated and people-centred care is a key element of the ongoing strategic planning for the prevention and treatment of HIV, TB and hepatitis in Eastern Europe and Central Asia for the next few years.

Session 1 will aim at discussing preliminary findings and experience gained in several areas (diagnosis, treatment and care) where integration is effectively being implemented in the region.


  • 12.00-13.00 hrs CET
  • 4 speakers
  • conclusions/remarks by chairs throughout the session
  • discussion


Raminta Stuikyte, Senior Associate: Special Advisor to the WHO Regional Office for Europe on Communicable Diseases

Irina Petrenko, MD, Deputy Director of the Kazakh Scientific Center of Dermatology and Infectious Diseases

Topics and candidate speakers:

  1. Integration of screening for HIV, TB, and hepatitis C
  • Maka Danelia, MD, PhD, Manager of Global Fund Tuberculosis Project at National Center for Disease Control and Public Health Georgia

2. Integration of TB and HIV services

  • Lilit Gevorgyan, MD, Doctor-Phthisiatrician, Department of Drug Resistant Tuberculosis, National Center of Pulmonology, Armenia

3. Integration of HIV care in primary care

  • Anna Deryabina, MD, DrPH, MScIH, Regional Director Central Asia at ICAP at Columbia University

4. Integrating approaches and services for people who use drugs

  • Ala Iatco, Deputy Director of the NGO Youth for the Right to Life & Union of Organizations Working in the Field of HIV Prevention and Harm Reduction in Moldova

Session on surveillance focused on data collection, validation, and analysis

The process of collecting accurate data regarding HIV amongst vulnerable populations (PWID, MSM, Sex Workers) is key element to ongoing strategic planning for HIV, TB, and hepatitis services in Eastern Europe and Central Asia for the next few years. All countries in the region have limited epidemiological training amongst medical professionals. New approaches are needed to better understand the real distribution of behavioural risks and epidemiological threats within key populations and to provide independent scientific information for policy-makers and professionals.

Session 2 will aim to discuss new methods of collecting data (epidemiological studies, integrated bio-behavioral surveillance, triangulation studies, etc) in the EECA region and Western Europe.


  • 13.00-14.00 hrs CET
  • 4 speakers
  • conclusions/remarks by chairs throughout the session
  • discussion


Sergii Dvoriak, D. Med. Sci, MD, PhD, Senior Researcher at the Ukrainian Institute on Public Health Policy (UIPHP), Executive Director of the Eurasian Professional Association of Addiction Medicine (EPAAM), consultant for the WHO) and UNODC

David Otiashvili, MD, PhD, Director of the Addiction Research Centre at Alternative Georgia and Associate Professor of Healthcare at the School of Natural Sciences and Medicine at Ilia State University in Tbilisi, Georgia

Topics and candidate speakers

  1. HIV surveillance and strategic information in the WHO European region
  • Giorgi Kuchukhidze, MD, MPH,  WHO Regional Office for Europe, Department of Communicable Diseases

2. Behavioral and epidemiological control in hard-to-reach groups: example of Ukraine

  • Tetyana Salyuk, Research and Evaluation Manager, the Alliance for Public Health in Ukraine

3. Data collection in the EECA region: how to design cohort studies, collect good quality data, conduct data analyses, and ensure their application in programmes and policy of scientific data

  • Daria Podlekareva, MD, PhD, Centre of Excellence for Health, Immunity and Infections, CHIP, Rigshospitalet – University of Copenhagen
  1. Data collection techniques on MSM in the EECA region
  • Nikolay Lunchenkov, MD, LGBTQI+ Health Consultant at ECOM (Eurasian Coalition on Male Health)

Session on the impact of COVID-19 on services

The COVID-19 pandemic is straining HIV, TB, hepatitis, and harm reduction service delivery across the Eastern Europe and Central Asia Region, as it is globally. Restrictions on movement and shelter-in-place orders have resulted in declines in access to services and their uptake.

Panel 3 will aim to explore how the region has been affected by SARS-CoV-2 and will spotlight innovative adaptations to service delivery that are having positive effects and can be retained going forward.


Indira Aitmagambetova, MD, PhD, Associate Director for the HIV/AIDS and TB Program for Kazakhstan, Center for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC)

Veronica Cretu, Consultant in Open Government & Data for Development, NGO Positive Initiative  (Moldova)


  • 14.00-15.00 hrs CET
  • 3 speakers
  • conclusions/remarks by chairs and the civil society discussant throughout the session
  • discussion
  1. Disruption in HIV and hepatitis services during COVID-19 pandemic in the WHO European Region.
  • Nicole Seguy, MD, MPH, HIV, STI and Viral Hepatitis Unit Lead, WHO Regional Office for Europe

2. Pandemic-driven positive developments addressing HIV/TB in the EECA region, such as increased use of telemedicine, social media, and virtual community supports. 

  • Justyna Kowalska, MD, PhD, Senior Consultant, Hospital for Infectious Diseases in Warsaw; Professor of Medicine, Department of Adults’ Infectious Diseases, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland

3. Innovations across the EECA region in the delivery of harm reduction services in a pandemic: What is working and why? 

  • Igor Gordon, Program Team Lead at the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (EHRA)

Civil Society Discussant:

Olą Belyaeva, Eurasian Network of People who Use Drugs, Program Coordinator

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Supported by Gilead Sciences Europe Ltd and ViiV Healthcare Ltd who provided funding. Gilead Sciences Europe Ltd and ViiV Healthcare Ltd have had no input into the content of the materials and presentations used at this event.

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