Prioritized country targets for 2019

  • Provide universal access to early and rapid diagnosis, including self-testing and adopt the WHO-recommended "Treat All" policy.infoACHIEVED: Moldova has adopted and implemented the "Treat All" policy across the country. Self-testing is available to all, in addition to conventional and rapid testing, done by NGOs.
  • Validation of the elimination of mother to child transmission & the rate of mother to child transmission does not exceed 2%.infoSLOW PROGRESS: Moldova did not apply for regional validation of EMTCT report, as the preliminary data showed an increase in mother-to-child transmission of HIV in 2019 (1.7% in 2017, 3.61% in 2018 and 4.8% in 2019).
  • Increased coverage of HIV comprehensive prevention programmes among key populations/prevention of HIV and STIs among key populations.infoWITHIN REACH: 15 627 people who inject drugs (74% of target), 7332 sex workers (63% of target) and 4376 MSM (71% of target) were covered with comprehensive prevention services during 2019.
  • All forms of HIV-related stigma and discrimination, gender inequalities and gender-based violence reduced.infoWITHIN REACH: Recommendations concerning criminalization of HIV exposure and transmission have been adopted in a draft law on decriminalizing HIV exposure and transmission; recommendations on access of people living with HIV to in vitro fertilization have been adopted in amendments to MHLSP regulations.

Joint Team: UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, WHO, UNAIDS Secretariat, OHCHR


  Joint Programme contributions and results in 2018-2019

HIV testing and treatment - upstream advocacy, technical support, fostering partnerships

An HIV testing algorithm has been introduced in Moldova, based on rapid tests and extending coverage, resulting in extended coverage and quicker (20 minutes versus 3–4 weeks previously) diagnosis. Using rapid diagnostic tests for HIV has been approved at all levels of medical care and testing uptake has increased from 267 923 people in 2018 to 347 072 in 2019, resulting in an increase in new HIV diagnoses––from 835 in 2017 to 922 in 2019.

Moldova’s treatment protocols have been aligned with "Treat All". DTG is the first-line treatment regimen, with 250 patients on DTG in 2018, rising to about 850 in 2019.

A total of 375 health specialists (family doctors, gynaecologists, lab specialists, and staff from sexual and reproductive health cabinets and youth-friendly health centres) are providing screening, diagnosis and HIV treatment services, following training. Thirty-seven youth-friendly health centres out of 41 (around 90%) are providing HIV rapid testing to adolescent girls and boys, in accordance with new guidelines.

EMTCT - policy advice, technical support, capacity building

A newly approved clinical protocol on PMTCT now includes rapid testing and task shifting to primary care level. Some 300 health professionals from perinatal centres, 45 key/managerial staff and three medical doctors were trained and are supporting the implementation of the protocol, which has resulted in 35 598 mothers receiving improved paediatric care, including better linkage to treatment.

HIV prevention among young people and key populations - policy dialogue, technical support, partnerships

Annually, about 8000 young boys and girls (almost 50% from rural areas) were reached with peer education on SRHR (including HIV and STI prevention).

Two mandatory “biology” curricula (for grades 6–12) and an optional course on “education for health” were revised to include provisions on HIV and other STIs prevention. The optional course was piloted in 22 schools from five targeted districts, resulting in a 44% increase in the number of adolescents who selected the course in 2019 compared to 2018. It is now available for all schools.

During the biennium, 135 health-care providers and staff of NGOs working with key populations were capacitated to implement the Comprehensive HIV Prevention Tools provisions (IDUIT, SWIT, MSMIT&TRANSIT). The National Quality Standard on HIV Prevention Services to Key Populations was revised in line with current international recommendations.

The Guiding Procedures Manual, for people who use drugs and prisoners, was approved by authorities; 293 police officers were trained in referrals to CSOs; 297 people who use drugs and sex workers were tested for HIV by police and CSOs; and a further 377 people who use drugs and sex workers were referred by police to CSOs and harm reduction services in Bender, Camenca, Ribnita and Slobozia.

Stigma, discrimination, gender equality and gender-based violence - technical support, capacity building

A roadmap for destigmatization of people living with HIV has been developed, including key inputs from people living with HIV with open HIV status, service providers and decision makers, supported by the Joint Team and informed by the Stigma Index. The Roadmap serves as a guiding document for the Government, NGOs and other partners in the development of activities to improve the lives of people living with HIV.

Over 60 000 people (including 7000 in Transnistrian region) have been engaged through communication campaigns to fight stigma and discrimination, organized around World AIDS Day 2018–2019, AIDS Candlelight, World Drugs Day. A total of 40 cities from both banks, 6 ministries, 14 NGOs, 4 regional social centres and around 20 media channels participated and covered the events.

Eighty people living with HIV developed skills and use the positive deviance approach to promote inclusion, protect their rights and combat gender stereotypes and gender discrimination.

Contribution to the SDG agenda

The Joint Team’s work in Moldova is undertaken within the framework of the country’s United Nations Partnership Framework for Sustainable Development 2018‒2022, with all activities contributing to SDG 4, 5 and 10.

Civil society and women living with HIV were meaningfully engaged in SDG localization, with women living with HIV participating in the Universal Periodic Review and Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women processes.


 
  • Although Moldova’s HIV epidemic is concentrated among key populations, about 95% of funding for key populations programming comes from development partners (mostly the Global Fund), which affects the sustainability of services.
  • Preliminary data shows increase in mother to child transmission of HIV in Moldova which prevented the country from applying for regional validation of EMTCT in 2019.
  • Psychostimulant use is increasing in Moldova but national stakeholders have limited capacity to address the issue.
  • Fragmented and vertical national HIV and TB programmes are serious barriers.
  • Gender and human rights-based interventions were mainstreamed, but are not sufficiently resourced, which may add to barriers preventing key populations from reaching services.










*The Republic of Moldova is one of the countries featured in the regional and country section of the 2018-2019 Performance Monitoring Report package presented to the Programme Coordinating Board at its 46th meeting on 23-25 June 2020. The Republic of Moldova’s country report can be viewed in the 2018-2019 PMR regional and country report.

2018-2019 TOTAL JOINT PROGRAMME SPENDING (US$) :  

3 536 558

 

Core -  698 885

Non-core -  2 837 673