U.N.s AIDS Epidemic Report for 2007 says AIDS is on the rise in Ukraine
The Report published on Wednesday points to a sharp increase in the spread of AIDS in both Ukraine and Russia. Of the 150 thousand people recently infected with HIV in the former Soviet Union, 90% were in two countries - Russia and Ukraine. Of these, 66% of the cases were in Russia.
The main reason is believed to be injecting drug use. .Another reason for the increase in Russia is the spread of HIV through unprotected heterosexual relations.
According to the report, the number of cases of HIV infection in former Soviet republics has risen one and a half times since 2001 and comes to 1 million 600 thousand.
In Ukraine the number of new cases during that same period has doubled and last year exceeded 16 thousand. For the first half of this year the figure was over 8.7 thousand.
The worst affected areas are the South-East and Kyiv.
One in four prostitutes in Donetsk is HIV-positive, and the level of infection among injecting drug users in some countries of southern Ukraine reaches 90%.
Other places highlighted as having serious increases in the spread of AIDS and HIV are the Dnipropetrovsk region, Mykolaiv and Odessa.
Consultant on the World Banks health programmes Ihor Opiynyk said in Dnipropetrovsk that if measures were not stepped up, the number of HIV infections could rise to 800 thousand in the next seven years. The Bank predicts that this would cause a 6% slowdown in the Ukrainian economy.
In the regions most affected, there are prevention programmes however information about them and access are not widely enough available.