Ukraine remains one of the countries where the number of new HIV infections cases and AIDS deaths continues to increase. The data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the The WHO Regional Office for Europe proves this. A group of men who have sex with men (MSM) becomes vulnerable to this epidemic. According to the data of the Center for Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine presented in an Information Bulletin No. 50, over the last 5 years the proportion of men who became infected with HIV as a result of sexual contact with men doubled: from 1.8% to 3.2%. Overall, over the past 10 years, the number of newly registered HIV-positive MSM has increased more than 5 times, primarily due to improved access of MSM to testing services and prevention programs as a whole.
HIV prevention continues to be a key focus of the Alliance’s work. In 2018, for the first time in Ukraine, the Alliance, as a co-executor of the National HIV Pre-Contact Prevention Program | the National HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Program, launched such a program in Kyiv, with the financial support of the CDC / PEPFAR. The pilot’s successful experience has been implemented and disseminated in 24 regions of Ukraine in 2019 as a part of the Alliance’s implementation of “Support and Management of HIV Pre-Exposure prevention (PrEP)”, with the support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Thanks to the work of 26 partner NGOs, in 2019, 1772 people began taking PrEP in Ukraine. More than 78% of all clients of the program were MSM, 22% were representatives of other risk groups.
The aim of the project is to fulfill one of the goals of the approved National Strategy for HIV / AIDS, Tuberculosis and Viral Hepatitis for the period up to 2030 – providing access to HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis services to key population groups. At the regional level, 26 NGOs implement the project in partnership with oblast and city AIDS Centers / Regional Public Health Centers / State Institution “L.V. Gromashevsky Institute of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases of the Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine” (depending on the region).
The aim of the project is to reduce the rate of HIV infection among MSM, HIV-negative partners of discordant couples and those who report high-risk behaviors (including sex workers) by introducing PrEP as a part of a Integrated HIV Prevention and Care Program in Ukraine.
Project activities include:
- Providing social and medical support for the HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis client
- HIV testing at least once a quarter
- Receiving TDF / FTC by the client
As of beginning of 2020, PrEP is widely available in all regions of Ukraine and Kyiv. 26 NGOs continue to provide social support services.