Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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Harm reduction in Ukraine

4
APR
2011

HIV test at a VCT facility, Ukraince (c) Alliance

Alliance Ukraine is the largest NGO focused on HIV in Ukraine and is now one of the technical partners which are supporting the Alliance’s new Community Action on Harm Reduction project (CAHR).

With this wide range of expertise, Alliance Ukraine has hosted the Alliance Regional Technical Support Hub in Kiev since 2008, providing high quality technical support to organisations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. 

Following its adoption at a national scale it has contributed to a fall in the number of new HIV cases among IDUs aged 15-24 from 18% in 2004 to 6,6% in 2010. 

The Alliance began work in Ukraine in 2000, supporting the establishment and growth of Ukrainian civil society responses to HIV. In 2003 Alliance Ukraine established itself as an independent organisation.  

Alliance Ukraine has significantly contributed to the Ukrainian national HIV response by building and supporting a national network of civil society organisations that deliver HIV and harm reduction services, and by building capacity for HIV and harm reduction services through the Ukrainian health system.  Resources for this national programming have been provided by the Global Fund and USAID.

Successful scale up

Before Alliance Ukraine became Principal Recipient of the Global Fund Round 1 grant in 2004, only 255 people in Ukraine were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART). With 15,000 people in need of ART it was vital to scale up access to treatment fast. By the end of Round 1 in 2008 6,070 people received ART through the programme, and this figure is around 20,000 today.

People who inject drugs are the group most affected by HIV in Ukraine: between 70 and 80% of people living with HIV/AIDS are currently injecting drugs or have done so in the past.

Alliance Ukraine leads one of the world’s largest national HIV prevention programmes targeting people who use drugs: In 2010, Alliance HIV prevention projects reached 170,081 people who inject drugs (58.6% of the estimated number).

In addition, Alliance Ukraine is leading on the scaling up of drug substitution treatment for injecting drug users. In 2011 more than 6,000 patients have access to substitution maintenance treatment at 125 health care facilities in 7 regions of Ukraine.

Advocacy successes

Alliance Ukraine’s national advocacy efforts have led to substantial changes in the legal and policy landscape in Ukraine. As a result of their lobbying and advocacy efforts, the Government of Ukraine decriminalised sex work in 2006.  

In 2008, after a long campaign involving Alliance Ukraine and the national PLHA (people living with HIV) Network, the Clinton Foundation, the Open Society Institute, WHO, the Ukrainian Institute of Public Health Policy and UNAIDS, the Ukrainian Government approved methadone-based opioid substitution therapy for injecting drug users.

With this wide range of expertise, Alliance Ukraine has hosted the Alliance Regional Technical Support Hub in Kiev since 2008, providing high quality technical support to organisations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. 

Key achievements

Alliance Ukraine has led the expansion of access to antiretroviral treatment in Ukraine

In 2010 Alliance Ukraine:

  • Reached 249,064 people with prevention activities
  • Provided 100,002 HIV tests through VCT centres supported by the organisation, including outreach
  • Provided technical assistance to 846 organisations
  • Trained 7,058 people to provide direct HIV and AIDS services

Alliance Ukraine is one of three Alliance Linking Organisations that are Principal recipients of Global Fund Round 10 grants. Read more.

View our Flickr set of photos from the Alliance’s harm reduction and work with drug users in Ukraine.