In Ukraine the HIV epidemic continues to grow steadily, while it is declining in the rest of the world; to help stop this alarming trend, AIDS Healthcare Foundation sent an open letter to the Global Fund asking it to reprogram the already approved grants toward more lifesaving antiretroviral treatment that can also stop the HIV epidemic
Kiev, Ukraine (June, 13, 2012) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization which currently provides medical care and services to more than 166,000 individuals in 26 countries worldwide, including more than 5,000 in Ukraine in partnership with governmental institutions, has addressed an open letter to Gabriel Jaramillo, general manager of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, to ask for urgent reorientation of its grants in Ukraine.
On June 7-8, AHF also sent a delegation to Geneva to address the situation of Ukraine. As part of the work trip to Geneva, AHF’s Global Ambassador Dr Jorge Saavedra, Eastern Europe Bureau Chief Zoya Shabarova and Ukranian based Regional Advocacy Manager Constance Boris, have alerted on the situation in Ukraine with respect to low treatment access in the country. Scientific research has brought evidence that high coverage of antiretroviral treatment of all the people who need it could stop the HIV epidemic. Together, populations of Ukraine and Russia represent 90% of all HIV positive people living in the region. So far, Ukraine has received over $300 million to fight the epidemic, but according to a recent WHO published report, only 13% of people in need of antiretroviral treatment were receiving it at the end of 2010. Information from the Ukrainian Ministry of Health from April 1, 2012 states that currently 30,350 people are getting ART in Ukraine (adults, children, prisoners, via state budget and GF funding combined).
Ukrainian born Zoya Shabarova, who is AHF´s Bureau Chief for Eastern Europe, said that AHF hopes that the Global Fund will work together with the Ukrainian stakeholders in order to reprogram 75% of already approved funding toward lifesaving treatment in Ukraine and help bring about the decline of the epidemic. “AHF is determined to advocate until all HIV positive Ukrainians in need have assured access to antiretroviral treatment,” currently she added, “it looks quite incredible to see that poorer countries, and even countries that have received fewer resources from the Global Fund, are performing better than Ukraine in terms of ART coverage rates.”
AHF delegation in Geneva, in front of the Global Fund’s head quarters