“Knowing about HIV saves lives” World HIV/AIDS Day Event
“Knowing about HIV saves lives” was the slogan of the traditional campaign dedicated to December 1 – World HIV/AIDS Day. It brought together leaders in the fight against the HIV epidemic, particularly government institutions, civil society organizations working in the field of HIV response, international donors and partners.
“More than twenty years ago, I started taking ARV therapy. Today, I continue to live, have a family, and run the largest patient organization thanks to medicines. A lot has changed in twenty years. Today, HIV is a manageable chronic disease that is not a barrier to the pursuit of one’s goals. The only barrier is ignorance. If you get tested regularly and know your HIV status, you are in control. If you know about the disease and start treatment – you are in control of your life. But it all starts with knowing. Therefore, the purpose of our campaign is to remind that knowing about HIV saves lives,” said Dmytro Sherembey, head of the NGO “100% Life”.
During the full-scale invasion, the risk of HIV infection and spread has increased. Occupation and migration can lead to interruptions in treatment and access to regular HIV testing among Ukrainians. After the start of the full-scale war, the proportion of late HIV diagnoses increased. At the same time, heterosexual sexual contact remains the primary mode of HIV transmission. HIV testing is the only way to know your status and receive free, lifelong medication if needed.
Deputy Minister of Health, Chief State Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine Ihor Kuzin noted that as of November 1, 2023, 158,803 cases of HIV infection and 48,908 cases of AIDS were detected in Ukraine, of which 9,769 cases of HIV and 2,738 cases of AIDS were detected in 2023.
“In 2021, one in four people living with HIV did not know their status. The lack of custom and the stigma of discrimination become a barrier to regular HIV testing and treatment and to overcoming this disease. It is important to understand that a positive HIV test today is not a verdict. Antiretroviral therapy is free and can be obtained from health facilities in your community. The most important thing is to know your HIV status so that you can start treatment on time and prevent the development of AIDS and the transmission of the virus to others. In 2023, 121,820 Ukrainians receive ARV therapy, of which 119,730 are adults, and 1,990 are children. 7,500 Ukrainians with HIV receive ARV therapy in EU countries. Getting tested once a year is a responsible step for your health and the health of your loved ones. You can get tested by a family doctor, in a “Trust” office, in a health facility or at mobile testing stations,” said Deputy Minister of Health, Chief State Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine Ihor Kuzin.
On average, 33 cases of HIV (a virus that affects the immune system) and 9 cases of AIDS (a complex disease that occurs due to the spread of the immunodeficiency virus in the body) are detected daily in Ukraine. In recent years, the dynamics of antiretroviral therapy uptake have shown steady growth. Every year, the number of people taking medication increased.
During the event held in Kyiv, the premiere of educational videos was screened with the participation of celebrities, including clothing designer Ivan Frolov, TV presenter Olena Kravets, leader of the band Onuka Nata Zhyzhchenko, athlete Jean Beleniuk and blogger Oleg Mashukovsky.
The goal of the educational project “Knowing HIV Saves Lives”, which will be launched on December 1, is to draw the attention of Ukrainians to the importance of regular HIV testing, the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis, and to remind them that it is a chronic disease with which you can live a full life: give birth to healthy children, love, build a career, etc. The only condition for a full life is the regular use of medication.
The campaign is aimed at the widest possible audience, because today the issue of HIV affects everyone without exception, and awareness of this issue will save the lives of Ukrainians.
In addition to the 40-second videos, Yuriy has prepared a director’s version of the interview video, in which the celebrities tell very personal stories from their lives about HIV.
From December 1, the videos will be available on streaming platforms, in the media, on social media pages of opinion leaders and organizations, on screens in Gulliver Mall, as well as on STB, Novy, ICTV and other TV channels.
CO 100% Life expresses its deep gratitude to all the people and organizations that support the video project.
You can also participate and share the videos. We will be grateful for your personal contribution to the fight against the HIV epidemic.
Link to the video project on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4A2WARX_ac
Link to the videos for download:
Media contacts: Anastasia Bondarchuk, +380973944956 firstname.lastname@example.org
This year marks the 35th consecutive World AIDS Day. Established on December 1, 1988, at the initiative of the World Health Organization, World AIDS Day was designed to draw public attention to the problem.
For the time being, Ukraine ranks one of the first among the countries of the European area in terms of the number of HIV-positive people. Nevertheless, on the eve of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, our country demonstrated extraordinary progress in the fight against the epidemic. However, one in three HIV-positive people either did not know their HIV status or were not under medical supervision and therefore not receiving treatment (ARV therapy).
We emphasize that today, despite the challenges of war, HIV testing and treatment, prevention and services are available in Ukraine. Find all about HIV at https://prozdorovia.in.ua/choise/.
After Russia’s full-scale war in Ukraine began, there was a risk of a catastrophic shortage of medicines for HIV patients. At the urgent request of the Center for Public Health and the largest patient organization CO “100% Life”, the PEPFAR program invested $13 million in emergency medication procurement. To date, the international partners – PEPFAR, USAID and the Global Fund – have agreed to fund the procurement of medicines for the next two years.