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Open Access Short Report

Resource flows and levels of spending for the response to HIV and AIDS in Belarus

Valentina I Kachan1, Alena I Tkachova2, Eleanora Gvozdeva3, Ilona Urbanovich3, Anna Yakusik4, Peter Amico5 and Carlos Avila-Figueroa6*

  • * Corresponding author: Carlos Avila-Figueroa avilac@unaids.org

  • † Equal contributors

Author Affiliations

1 Deputy Minister of Health, Ministry of Health, Miasnikov Street 39, Minsk, 220048, Belarus

2 Head of the Health Care Planning and Financing Department, Ministry of Health, Miasnikov Street 39, Minsk, 220048, Belarus

3 Country Officer, UNAIDS, Krasnoarmieskaya Street 22a, Minsk, 220050, Belarus

4 Consultant, UNAIDS, Krasnoarmieskaya Street 22a, Minsk, 220050, Belarus

5 Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, 415 South Street Waltham, MA, 02454, USA

6 Economics and Financing Division, UNAIDS, Avenue Appia 20 Geneva, 1211, Switzerland

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:248  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-248

Published: 21 July 2011

Abstract

Background

Belarus has a focused HIV epidemic concentrated among injecting drug users, female sex workers and men who have sex with men. However, until 2008, Belarus had no way of evaluating HIV spending priorities. In 2008, Belarus committed to undertaking a comprehensive National AIDS Spending Assessment (NASA) in order to analyze HIV spending priorities. NASA was used to 'follow the money' from the funding sources to agents and providers, and eventually to beneficiary populations.

Findings

Belarus spent the majority of its funding on prevention, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections and on securing the blood supply. International donors and NGOs working within Belarus spent the majority of their funding on preventative activities for high risk groups while Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (GFATM) solely funded antiretroviral treatment.

Conclusions

The data and experience obtained through conducting NASA will help build capacity for future resource tracking activities for HIV and other health priorities. This experience established the foundation for enhanced and future consistent quality-reporting of National Health Accounts. Monitoring the flow of resources for Belarus' HIV response provides valuable strategic information that can improve operations and planning as well as mobilize greater resources. NASA offers Belarusian policy makers an overview of HIV activities that merit their priority attention. In addition, the findings from Belarus are particularly relevant for the rest of the Commonwealth of Independent States due to their similar epidemiological profiles and centrally planned systems. The Belarusian government faces future challenges, especially in increasing public investments in HIV prevention for female sex workers and their clients, men who have sex with men, and among intravenous drug users.