The state has forgotten about HIV-positive people in the area of “anti-terrorist” operation
The press conference “The state has forgotten about HIV- positive people in the area of anti-terrorist operation” (ATO), held in Kyiv on 12 November 2014, was organized by the Human Rights Information Center and the All Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV (hereinafter – the Network of PLHIV). Ukrainian organizations are raising the alarm in view of the threat of discontinuance of HIV positive people treatment in the area of ATO and of reduce of the supply of antiviral drugs in other regions of Ukraine.
About 10 thousand of HIV-positive Ukrainians were found to be under threat in view of discontinuance of treatment because of the failure of the government to supply antiretroviral drugs in the area of ATO. Now, risking their lives, the activists of the Network of PLHIV are engaged in the supply of antiviral drugs. But at an early date another problem will arise – there will be nothing to be supplied.
Representatives of the Network of PLHIV are arising alarm because, due to information provided by Ukrainian Center for Disease Control of the Ministry Health of Ukraine, a problem with antiretroviral drugs is likely to originate. Regions of Ukraine are supplied with drugs only until December 2014. After that both Ukrainians in the area of ATO and at secure territories will not be able to get proper treatment.
Termination of treatment, death of patients and the spread of the virus – this is the consequences of the above mentioned. This year no one drug was bought up for Ukrainian HIV-positive children. Instead of syrup children receive forms of medicines intended for adults. Parents have to divide the tablet into 2-3 pieces, which contradicts all medical recommendations.
In the Kharkiv region instead of 1400 people, 1600 patients receive antiretroviral therapy, because patients from area of ATO are having recourse to as well. Mr. Sergey Dmitriev, Head of the Kharkiv Regional department of Network of PLHIV is worried that in the nearest future HIV positive inhabitant of Kharkov may be left without treatment. “At the present time, the completion of drugs does not take place and is not planned. We show understanding and responsibility of this problem. But we have to understand, that lives in the area of ATO is not saved only by catridges. Tablets can also save lives, preserve health and protect the country”, – Sergey says. As explained by Ms. Lera Rachinskaya, a member of Lugansk branch of the Network of PLHIV in Lugansk region, access to drugs for people living with HIV is complicated and sometimes impossible in view of combat operations. PLHIV experts predict a new round of PLHIV uncontrolled epidemic due to the lack of sale of contraceptives, as well as anti-TB drugs.
People living with HIV call to State for responsibility before patients, who cannot float their health and life. Ukrainian Network of PLHIV asks to consider immediately the possibility to supply the drugs to the area of ATO as well as to other regions, which are similar to combat zones.