In 2016, there were an estimated 240,000 people living with HIV in Ukraine. Marginalised and criminalised groups, particularly people who use drugs, are most at risk of HIV infection. The prevalence rate among people who inject drugs is 21.9%.
Alliance for Public Health (APH) delivers HIV prevention for people most at risk of HIV and people living with HIV in Ukraine, and offers treatment and care support for related health issues such as TB and Hepatitis C. In 2017, APH reached over 230,000 people who use drugs with prevention services and 167,038 people with TB services.
APH are the Alliance harm reduction experts – their prevention work with people who use drugs made up the entire national prevention programme for this marginalised population in Ukraine. They managed the Alliance’s Community Action on Harm Reduction programme from 2011 to 2015.
APH is currently implementing the first Alliance harm reduction programme among children and adolescents who use drugs, which is funded by the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF). EJAF Ukraine aims to ensure that children and adolescents who use drugs, and their sexual partners, have access to and utilise quality services that are adapted to their needs.
APH also partners with the Alliance in the PITCH programme, a five-year project focused on building capacity of local civil society organisations to advocate for equal rights and access to services for key populations in nine countries that are most affected by HIV. In 2017, the Ukrainian government agreed to fund harm reduction and HIV prevention programmes from the state budget. And for the first time since opioid substitution therapy (OST) was launched in Ukraine, the Ministry of Health procured OST medications for more than 9,000 patients.
See the video below, produced by APH in June 2015, on the status of opioid substitute therapy programmes in eastern Ukraine during the political crisis affecting the country at that time.