Sufficient HIV medication in Ukraine for the time being

According to the European Office of the World Health Organization (WHO), an impending crisis in the medical care of HIV-infected people in Ukraine has been averted for the time being. Together with the US government initiative Pepfar, the Ukrainian authorities and partner organizations, the WHO has secured the procurement of 209,000 packs of the antiretroviral combination drug TLD, WHO Europe said on Wednesday. It was triggered by reports of interrupted HIV treatments, which threatened the lives of thousands of people.

This could meet the needs of most people knowingly living with HIV in Ukraine over the next 12 months. The first shipment of medicines has already crossed the Polish border to Ukraine and will soon be in the HIV care facilities.

“This war has the potential to undermine the hard-won gains of recent years on a range of health problems, including HIV,” said WHO Regional Director Hans Kluge. In view of the progress made in the fight against HIV in Ukraine, this should not have been allowed to happen there.

It is estimated that around 260,000 people in Ukraine are living with HIV. However, at the end of 2020, just under 70 percent of those affected knew of their status and fewer than 60 percent were receiving antiretroviral therapy, which can be used to permanently suppress the virus in the body. WHO Europe pointed out that men make up the majority of those who need antiretroviral drugs and that Ukrainian males between the ages of 18 and 60 are not allowed to leave their country. Despite the large number of people who have fled the country, the main needs are still within the Ukrainian borders.

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