The criteria for donation have been changed: homosexual relations have been removed from the list of prohibitions for blood donation

Homosexual people were allowed to be blood donors in Ukraine. The ban lasted 15 years. This was announced on April 15 by human rights activists of the National Network of Paralegals. It is noted that previously homosexual relationships were equated with forms of risky behavior. Currently, only the updated text of the "Procedure for medical examination of blood donors and blood components" is available, in which there is no paragraph on homosexual orientation. Human rights activists call the decision a step forward. They fought for years to lift the ban.

It is worth noting that in 2015, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that it was unacceptable to ban homosexual donors if there were methods that could detect HIV and surveys that could ensure the safety of the recipient. After all, otherwise such a situation can be considered discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

However, such a ban was in force for the following reasons. It is believed that homosexual people, including men, are more likely to be infected with HIV / AIDS and some types of hepatitis. Accordingly, it threatens the life and health of anyone who receives blood from such a donor.

World Leaders to Meet to Fight HIV / AIDS

8-10 of June 2021, the United Nations will hold a high-level meeting on HIV and AIDS. World leaders will discuss the results of work on combating the spread of HIV / AIDS over the past 5 years. The meeting is timed to the 25th anniversary of UNAIDS and the 40th anniversary of the registration of the first case of HIV infection.

UNAIDS is currently developing a new global AIDS strategy for 2021-2026. The final draft strategy will be considered for adoption by the UNAIDS Coordinating Council in March 2021. The new global HIV / AIDS strategy will include new targets that will reduce the number of people living with HIV for the first time to 370,000 by 2025 and reduce the number of people dying from AIDS-related diseases to 250,000.

The UNAIDS Coordinating Council has adopted a new Global AIDS Strategy that paves the way for the eradication of AIDS by 2030

The new Global AIDS Strategy (2021–2026) seeks to reduce the inequalities that drive the AIDS epidemic and put people at the centre to get the world on-track to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. Decades of experience and evidence from the HIV response show that intersecting inequalities are preventing progress towards ending AIDS.

Developed by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and to be adopted by the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB), this Strategy lays out a framework for transformative action to reduce these inequalities by 2025 and to get every country and every community on-track to end AIDS by 2030.5 The Strategy uses an inequalities lens to identify, reduce and end inequalities that represent barriers to people living with and affected by HIV, countries and communities from ending AIDS.

The Strategy is being adopted during the Decade of Action to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and makes explicit contributions to advance goals and targets across the SDGs.

The Strategy builds on an extensive review of the available evidence and a broad-based, inclusive, consultative process in which over 10,000 stakeholders from 160 countries participated. The results from the UNAIDS Fast-Track Strategy 2016–2021 informed the development of the new Strategy, including the Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) decision to develop the Global AIDS Strategy "by maintaining the critical pillars that have delivered results in the current Fast-Track Strategy, its ambition and the principles underpinning it to the end of 2025, but also enhance the current Strategy to prioritize critical areas that are lagging behind and need greater attention."

The Strategy keeps people at the centre and aims to unite countries, communities and partners across and beyond the HIV response to take prioritized actions to accelerate progress towards the vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. The Strategy seeks to empower people with the programmes and resources they need to exercise their rights, protect themselves and thrive in the face of HIV.

If the goals and commitments of the strategy are achieved, the number of people living with HIV for the first time will decrease from 1.7 million in 2019 to less than 370 thousand by 2025, and the number of people dying from AIDS will decrease. from 690 thousand per year in 2019 to less than 250 thousand in 2025. The goal of eliminating new cases of HIV infection among children will reduce the number of new cases of HIV infection from 150 thousand in 2019 to less than 22 thousand in 2025.

Vaccination against COVID-19: what you need to know about PLHIV who are going to be vaccinated

COVID-19 is a serious disease, so all people should take the recommended preventive measures to prevent infection with the virus. Vaccination and how safe the vaccine is for people living with HIV are now being hotly debated. Due to the specifics of ARV therapy and the peculiarities of the immune system, PLHIV raises many questions about the health safety of the vaccines used. Lyudmyla Kolomiychuk, a consultant with the Tuberculosis and HIV / AIDS Hotline and an infectious disease doctor, told how to properly prepare for vaccination and why it is important to continue taking ART.

Who is more vulnerable to COVID-19?

Older people living with HIV, or people living with HIV with heart and lung problems, may be at higher risk of contracting the virus and have more severe symptoms. All people living with HIV should see their doctors to stock up on basic medicines.

Does vaccination against COVID-19 provide benefits for people living with HIV?

For people living with HIV, the COVID-19 vaccine has the same benefits as everyone else: it prevents a serious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and potentially prevents the spread of the virus. However, as long as its prevalence among the population does not fall to a very low level, it is recommended to follow preventive measures (social distance, frequent hand washing, wearing masks) even after vaccination.

Should people living with HIV be vaccinated against COVID-19?

You need to be vaccinated, because COVID-19 is a dangerous infectious disease that has many complications during the course of the disease and after recovery.

It is important to test for COVID-19 antibody titers before vaccination if a person has relapsed to COVID-19 (especially if asymptomatic). And if this titer is high, especially for the titer of antibodies to IgG, it is better to postpone vaccination.

It is also important to remember that if a person's CD4 level is less than 200 cells, immunity is much worse, plus in severe immunodeficiency, when a person has a number of opportunistic diseases and it is in the process of treatment, of course, vaccination can not be . Theoretically, vaccination against COVID-19 is possible with low levels of diabetes (more than 200 cells) in the absence of opportunistic diseases, just the probability that the immune system will be much lower.

Why should PLHIV continue to receive ART?

Taking ART for people living with HIV is very important, because first of all it is a highly effective treatment that can significantly improve the health of people living with HIV and inhibit the reproduction of HIV in the body. ART helps maintain immunity and significantly reduces the risk of opportunistic infections. Proper ART intake is especially important in the COVID-19 pandemic, because the higher the level of CD4 cells (which is achieved through proper ART intake) in humans, the better the immune response to other diseases.

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