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Ukrainian religious leaders join the Global Partnership for Action to Eliminate All Forms of HIV-Related Stigma and Discrimination

Religious communities in Ukraine have joined the Global Partnership for Action to Eliminate All Forms of HIV-Related Stigma and Discrimination, which was organized by CO “100% Life” in partnership with the NGO “Eleos-Ukraine”.

This was announced on December 16, 2020, at a presentation at the Kyiv Orthodox Theological Academy.

  • Archpriest Serhii Dmytriiev, Chairperson of the Board of the “Eleos-Ukraine” Network, Acting Head of the Synodal Department for the Medical Chaplaincy of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, a member of the National Council on TB and HIV/AIDS: “This is a very important step, both for the religious community and for people who live with HIV/AIDS in Ukraine and face stigma and discrimination every day. We call on all religious communities to join this partnership and fight such phenomena together.”
  • Valeriia Rachynska, Expert of CO “100% Life” (All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS): “Sociological research shows that the role of the church and religious organizations among the population of Ukraine is very important. For many years, people living with HIV have been confronted with religious figures. But finally, this dilemma has been resolved and we welcome this meaningful partnership and look forward to a long and definitely fruitful cooperation.”

What is the Global Partnership?

In December 2017, following a proposal made during the 41st meeting of the UNAIDS Program Coordinating Board in Geneva, the NGO Delegation to the UNAIDS Coordinating Board together with GNP + (Global Network of People Living with HIV), UN Women, UNDP, and the UNAIDS Secretariat were united to form the Global Partnership for Action to Eliminate All Forms of HIV-Related Stigma and Discrimination. This partnership aims to accelerate global action to eradicate HIV-related stigma and discrimination through HIV prophylaxis, prevention, testing, and treatment.

The partnership has launched a campaign to achieve zero HIV-related stigma and discrimination. While implementing this, the joint powers of governments, civil society, and the United Nations are used, working together on a common action plan and strategy, using the unique skills of each region, to leave HIV stigma and discrimination in the past.

Ukraine, with the support of the UNAIDS office in the country, plans to sign a document on joining the Global Partnership for Action to Eliminate All Forms of HIV-Related Stigma and Discrimination. Ukraine joins the Global Partnership with Ukrainian religious communities.

Ukraine’s commitment to the Global Partnership. The goal of religious leaders is to support the fight against HIV and fully participate in the Global Partnership in the framework of the strategic plan for public health and HIV/AIDS for 2020-2030, which was adopted by the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations with the assistance and support of the UNAIDS office in Ukraine.

This includes close cooperation with religious leaders of different denominations in Ukraine, as well as with other countries united by similar values, to eliminate all forms of HIV-related stigma and discrimination, namely:

  • Support and implement human rights and legal obligations that support the proper quality of life of PLHIV;
  • Advocate the abolition of existing norms and laws, which by their nature are discriminatory against PLHIV;
  • Conduct information events on HIV/AIDS among religious communities;
  • Carry out preventive measures against HIV/AIDS among religious communities;
  • Involve religious communities in HIV/AIDS testing;
  • Involve religious communities in HIV/AIDS treatment.
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