Ukrainian Government Has Inadequately Addressed HIV/AIDS

Armen Hareyan's picture

UkrainianPresident Victor Yushchenko on Tuesday in a meeting with Cabinet ministers andthe Ministry of Health said that the government's work in fightingHIV/AIDS in the country has been inadequate, UNIAN News Agency reports. There are more than119,000 HIV-positive people and more than 21,000 people living with AIDS in Ukraine, hesaid.

According to Yushchenko, the government's purchases of antiretroviral drugslack transparency, which has led to an inconsistency in the supply ofmedications and compromises in quality. He urged the Office of the ProsecutorGeneral to conduct an investigation of all purchases made by the healthministry. He also highlighted issues with financing HIV/AIDS programs. Althoughbudget growth provided financing for HIV/AIDS programs in 2007, only 50% of theavailable 98 million hryvnyas, or about $19 million, have been used to fightHIV/AIDS during the past 10 months, according to Yushchenko.


In addition, Yushchenko emphasized that the 112 million hryvnyas, or about $22million, provided in the draft budget for 2008 is insufficient for treatment,prevention and the purchase of necessary medical equipment. Yushchenko calledfor all corresponding expenses to be included in the draft budget, saying thathe will not sign a budget law that does not include expected expenses from thehealth ministry (UNAIN News Agency, 12/4).

"I can express a clear assessment of what the government, particularly thehealth ministry and the relevant subordinate organs, are doing,"Yushchenko said. He added, "Unfortunately, it seems to me that there is nowork in the system of government that has failed more than the fight against HIV/AIDS." The World Bank estimates that the number of HIV-positivepeople in Ukrainewill increase to 820,000 by 2014 and that people ages 20 to 34 will account for75% of all new cases by the same year (Ukrainian News, 12/4).

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