Former professional boxer Vitaly Klitschko is no stranger to a tough battle. Throughout his 47-bout career, including 41 knockout wins and a heavyweight championship, he was arguably the most fearsome fighter on the planet. Now, alongside AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Ukraine, he brings that same fighting spirit to battle against HIV as Kyiv’s mayor.
On Sep. 26, Mayor Klitschko and representatives of AHF Ukraine and AHF Senior Management signed a memorandum of cooperation during an official ceremony at the Kyiv City State Administration, which was broadcast on national TV.
The agreement pledges both sides to redouble efforts in fighting HIV/AIDS in Ukraine’s capital and further strengthen prevention measures in a country with one of the highest rates of new infections in Europe.
“This memorandum implements projects aimed at our top priority—carrying out national and local HIV/AIDS and TB programs,” said Klitschko. “Today we are happy to collaborate with such an experienced partner as AHF, an organization that’s fought the epidemic all over the world for the last 30 years.”
The agreement also outlines AHF Ukraine’s commitment to enhance its contribution to free HIV testing, integrated care programs for patients with HIV and to conduct far-reaching awareness campaigns for Kyiv residents and guests.
“AHF Ukraine was already doing great work in Kyiv and throughout Ukraine, like establishing the first free and confidential HIV testing center [AHF Checkpoint] last year,” said AHF Chief of Global Advocacy, Policy and Marketing Terri Ford. “That, combined with our mobile testing unit, has been instrumental at providing outreach. We are honored to team up with Kyiv’s administration to end AIDS in the capital and across the country.”
AHF has been working in Ukraine since 2009 and provides treatment and services to 27,305 clients.