Stigma index of people living with HIV: in 10 years the level of discrimination has dropped almost 4 times

According to the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health, the percentage of HIV-positive Ukrainians who face discrimination in the form of gossip and threats from the social environment fell from 30% to 8% between 2010 and 2020, and from 18% to 5%, respectively. These findings follow from the fourth wave of the study "Stigma Index of people living with HIV in Ukraine (2020)". Preliminary measurements were conducted in 2010, 2013, 2016.

The rate of denial of health care to people living with HIV fell to 4%, from 22% in 2010. The level of unauthorized disclosure of HIV status by health professionals has also decreased fivefold - 6% of patients reported such an experience in 2020.

At the same time, the level of self-stigma and self-discrimination among HIV patients remains a major problem. Despite significant global advances in HIV treatment, affordable treatment, the availability of preventive medicines and available services, people with HIV continue to feel ashamed and guilty about their HIV status and may refuse medical care and close relationships.

Thus, 68% of HIV-positive patients delay the start of treatment primarily due to fear of condemnation and ill-treatment, including by doctors.

According to the survey, only half of people living with HIV know that there are laws that can protect their rights.

An estimated 251,168 people with HIV live in Ukraine. One in three HIV-positive people still does not know their HIV status or remains out of medical care and therefore does not receive treatment (antiretroviral therapy). Therapy allows people with HIV to live a full life: to have a family, to be socially active.

Happy Thanksgiving Day!!!

Congratulations on the Thanksgiving Day from the entire staff of international non-governmental organization "International HIV / AIDS and TB Institute". We wish to appreciate everything in your life. Accept every day and every moment with gratitude. Let a delicious baked dinner gather all loved ones at the festive table and fill your souls with joy.

About International HIV/AIDS and TB Institute

The “International HIV/AIDS and TB Institute” was registered in April 2002 with the Ministry of Justice as an international non-governmental organization. 

While our principal focus was to be on policy development and policy analysis, it shifted to HIV-related issues to bring our contribution in the fight with the HIV/AIDS epidemics and to help addressing the needs of people affected by HIV/AIDS. Going back to 2004 – 2005, our advocacy program: “Scaling up to what?” got traction for a more realistic and acceptable number of PLWHA, who actually needed ART and not just medical observation as it used to be before. 

While the initial $93 million Round 1 grant from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (GFATM) ran into problems, a Stewardship Grant to Ukraine in 2004, which was implemented by the Alliance started to help the country move forward towards improving the quality of life for the people affected by the HIV/AIDS through access to care, treatment and support. Here we and other NGOs provided technical assistance to help move the process forward.

With progress of the TB epidemics in Ukraine, our knowledge base was useful for facilitating the development of two Tuberculosis-related GFATM proposals under the Round 8 and 9. While both failed, an appropriate appeal was welcomed by and accepted by its Board. As a result, Ukraine had won its first TB-related grant! 

From the very beginning of the Institute, young university graduates have sought us out;  volunteering for entry-level work experiences. We are pleased and proud that several of them have moved on to positions of greater responsibility in other organizations both here and abroad.

Now the Institute’s activities fall under three major tracks: policy development, training and methodology, and monitoring & evaluation with careful attention to the principles of good governance and oversight.

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