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RESPECT: The story that brought about change

On December 5-6, 2017, a conference of the Respect project was held at the Radisson Hotel in Kyiv. The main achievements in reducing HIV stigma and discrimination against representatives of the highest-risk groups in medical institutions of Ukraine were presented during the conference.

This Reporting Conference was attended by: Jacek Tishko, the Director of UNAIDS in Ukraine, Jerry Dible, the Head of the Healthcare Department, USAID, Natalia Piven, Ministry of Health of Ukraine, Serhiy Vasiliev, Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, Dmytro Sherembey, the Chairman of the Coordination Council of the All-Ukrainian Network of PLWH.

The Respect project was launched on September 27, 2013, and was implemented by the All-Ukrainian Network of PLWH with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). “This is probably the most successful project on overcoming the stigma and discrimination that has been implemented in Ukraine for 20 years,” emphasized Jacek Tishko (UNAIDS in Ukraine).

For more information about the conference, please, see

According to the survey PLWH Stigma Indicator – Stigma Index (2013), 11% of interviewed PLWH came across stigma and discrimination in the medical sector.

The Respect project aimed to reduce the HIV-related stigma and discrimination among healthcare workers against representatives of the most at-risk populations, including people living with HIV and injecting drug users.

The project envisaged the development and adoption of PLWH-friendly policies, including the patients’ way, on issues related to stigma and discrimination in healthcare facilities; pre- and post-graduate training of doctors and nurses on issues of provision of medical aid; information campaigns and dissemination of information materials regarding combating stigmatization and discrimination against people living with HIV in Ukraine.

The Respect project had three components:

  • Countering stigma and discrimination

Thanks to the Respect project, 8454 health workers were trained. Their level of knowledge was increased from 50% to 77% after the training. The fear level of becoming infected with HIV fell to 34% after the training (46%). The stigma level against people living with HIV and vulnerable groups fell to 24% after (35% before the training)

  • Improved access to treatment for people released from prison
  • Thirty-eight multidisciplinary teams were created in 10 regions for the implementation of the interaction algorithm in the selected prisons.
  • Of 1568 prisoners tested for HIV, 1543 had negative results
  • Medical and social services were provided for 488 people
  • Increased access to treatment through increased transparency and effectiveness of public procurement of medicines, the fight against corruption and support of key healthcare reforms in Ukraine.
  1. Support was provided to create the ProZorro public e-procurement platform, the DoZorro monitoring portal and the BiPro analytical portal.
  2. Procurement of medicines was transferred to specialized international organizations: Crown Agents, UNDP and UNICEF.
  3. Support of the health care reform. Development of the e-Health system.
  4. Creation and development of a network of civil society monitoring in the procurement of medical services.
  5. Ensuring direct participation of people living with HIV in drafting and monitoring public procurement of emergency medications (participation in working groups and committees under the Ministry of Health, etc.).
  6. Assessment of corruption and inefficiency of public procurement of medicines for patients living with HIV, tuberculosis and viral hepatitis (with the support of the Anti-Corruption Action Centre). As a result of the project implementation, most corruption schemes in the area of procurement of HIV, tuberculosis and viral hepatitis medicines were eliminated.

For more information about the project, please see


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