Ukraine running out of HIV treatment - activists

2015-05-27 17:23
A tank crew drives past displaying the Ukrainian flag near the eastern Ukrainian town of Luganske in the Donetsk region. (Volodymyr Shuvayev, AFP)

A tank crew drives past displaying the Ukrainian flag near the eastern Ukrainian town of Luganske in the Donetsk region. (Volodymyr Shuvayev, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kiev - A group of Ukrainians infected with HIV warned on Wednesday that thousands could soon perish because the war-torn country was running out of treatment for the deadly virus that causes Aids.

The activists staged a moving protest in which they marked out territory for a symbolic new cemetery outside the government building in central Kiev.

"We are calling on the prime minister and the government of Ukraine to prevent this catastrophe," protest coordinator Volodymyr Zhovtyak said in a statement.

"After all, medication being used by 30 000 HIV-positive people will run out in three weeks," he warned.

Activists link the problem to a law adopted last year allowing drug suppliers to receive full prepayment for medication they would not be required to deliver for up to six months.

The Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/Aids said the change means medication that was supposed to be delivered by the end of 2014 may not reach the ex-Soviet country's poorly-stocked clinics until June 10.

Health Minister Alexander Kvitashvili told a cabinet meeting that he knew about the problem and was working with international humanitarian organisations to avert an all-out crisis.

"We have supplies through the end of June," said Kvitashvili. "The deadline for [drug] companies' deliveries is June 19."

The World Health Organisation believes Ukraine is currently suffering from the worst HIV epidemic in Europe.

It reported 230 000 HIV-positive cases among Ukrainians 15 or older - about 0.8% of that age group.

Ukraine's own statistics show 124 000 HIV-positive people registered for treatment with the government as of April 1. Health authorities identified 4 563 new cases in the first four months of the year.

Read more on:    ukraine  |  health

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.