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I-TECH began working in Ukraine in 2011 at the invitation of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Ukrainian Ministry of Health. I-TECH currently supports the Government of Ukraine in implementing reforms in health services management, human resources for health, and other key areas to improve service provision for people living with HIV and achieve the UNAIDS 95-95-95 Fast Track targets.1
Ukraine is experiencing one of the fastest-growing HIV epidemics in the world, with twelve central and eastern large industrial regions of Ukraine being most affected.2 There is an estimated 260,000 people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Ukraine, 120,000 of which are women.3 Injection drug use was the main pathway for the spread of the disease from 1995 to 2008; sexual transmission, also among men who have sex with men, has been a growing primary mode of transmission.2
Ukraine has made significant progress in achieving the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets over the past two years. As of early 2020, 68% of estimated PLHIV in Ukraine were aware of their HIV status; 80% of PLHIV, who tested positive and registered with the healthcare system, received antiretroviral therapy (ART); and 94% of PLHIV who received ART had undetectable viral loads.2
Considerable challenges remain with timely HIV testing/diagnostics in early stages, especially among hard-to-reach populations. The number of officially registered HIV cases in Ukraine also dropped in 2015-2016 as a result of the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine and due to loss to follow-up of people living with HIV in the affected regions of Donetsk and the Crimea.2
- The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (CMU) (2019). The National Strategy on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Viral Hepatitis Response for the Period until 2030.
- The Ministry of Health of Ukraine (MoH) (2020). HIV in Ukraine, Information Bulletin #51, 2020.
- UNAIDS (2020). Country Factsheets: Ukraine 2020.