AHF ESTONIA: Linda Clinic Advances Patient Empowerment and Organizes an Open Day on 3 December

NARVA, Estonia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–On World AIDS Day, the Linda Clinic launched its Patient Advisory Group
(PAG). The launch of the group marks an important milestone in the
history of the Linda Clinic, a unique community-based HIV clinic in
Narva. The Patient Advisory Group offers opportunities for the patients
of the clinic to engage in discussions about quality of care issues,
provide feedback and advise the clinic management on improving the
quality of care, to inform their peers in Ida-Virumaa region about Linda
Clinic services and provide a space for HIV related advocacy.

The Linda Clinic is introducing the user-driven care approach in
Estonia. User-driven care is an approach to improving health outcomes of
individuals who require medical and psychosocial services. The approach
ensures that services are patient-centred and defined by immediate users
of care with the goal of having health services that can help people
with HIV get well and stay well.

“I am extremely pleased that Linda Clinic opens its doors to active and
meaningful involvement of HIV patients in the work of the clinic,” says Anna
Zakowicz,
head of the management board of the Linda Clinic. “By
doing so we are putting into practice our vision of full engagement of
patients as co-producers of health and advocacy for access to the
treatment and care they need. I am convinced implementation of the
approach will further increase quality, integration and efficiency of
services available at Linda Clinic.”

AHF Europe and EHPV opened the Linda Clinic in Narva in 2013, which
started providing antiretroviral treatment to people living with HIV in
late 2015. According to the municipal head doctor, the biggest epidemic
in the country is in Narva, with an HIV prevalence of 5%. In the city
with a population of 60,000 people, an estimated 2,400 are living with
HIV, of which approximately 740 are receiving treatment. The HIV
epidemic is an expression of social inequalities that people suffer in
daily life, and for people who live with HIV in Narva these are mainly:
drug use, high unemployment rates and unstable socio-economic situation.
These challenges often affect people’s ability to seek care, initiate
HIV treatment and stay in care.

Alexandra Gruzdeva, liaison to the Patient Advisory Group says:
“I want to empower our patients. As a patient I know how crucial it is
to be in charge of your own care path.”

“Right now, the clinic serves 224 clients, out which 195 (86%) patients
receive anti-retroviral therapy. We base our work on the Test and Treat
approach, actively reach out to the clients with services such as
outreach testing and seeking clients to return them to care,” said Igor
Pshenov,
the Linda Clinic manager. “We have a lot of work to do in
the region. By actively involving patients into their own care path, we
can even more effectively support the patients in HIV care.”

On Saturday 3 December from 12.00 to 16.00, the Linda Clinic will open
its doors to anyone who wants to learn about what the clinic is doing to
serve the community in Narva and the wider Ida Virumaa region. Anyone
can get a free rapid HIV test, get acquainted with the Linda Clinic team
and learn more about HIV prevention, treatment and care in a friendly
and welcoming atmosphere.

Contacts

PR Agency Vaikus
Kadri Talva-Ots, +372 5147917
or
Linda
Clinic
Svetlana Judina, Testing coordinator
+372
53050908
or
AHF Europe
Anna Zakowicz, Deputy
Bureau Chief
+31 6 28744655
anna.zakowicz@aidshealth.org
or
AHF
Europe
Denis Godlevskiy, Advocacy and marketing manager in
Russia and Ukraine
+7 911 1101310
denis.godlevskiy@aidshealth.org

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