Of the slightly more than 1 billion young people between 15 and 24, almost 9 out of 10 live in developing countries. Up to 110 million youth were estimated to be malnourished and up to 7,000 became infected with HIV/AIDS daily.
As official statistics show, the danger of HIV/AIDS has increased, especially among young people (UNDP 1999). According to UNAIDS, in only three years, between 1994 and 1997, HIV infection rates in Eastern Europe grew six times. Drug abuse and alcohol addiction are also on the rise, particularly among the young generation. The globalization of drug trafficking and drug consumption has affected Central and Eastern Europe. 'Old drugs' of Western Europe have become the new drugs of Eastern Europe, with much younger users than in the West. National studies of drug addictions in Bulgaria and the Czech Republic reveal a trend of a continuous decline in the average starting age, which is now in the early teens.
The Current Situation in Ukraine
Ukraine stands on the threshold of a nation-wide HIV/AIDS epidemic. Alarmingly, the number of reported cases of HIV infection in Ukraine has increased 20 times in the past five years yielding estimates of up to 400,000 people infected, approximately 1% of the adult population.
The UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS noted in its Declaration of Commitment (June, 2001), the “very rapidly rising infection rates” in Central and Eastern Europe and the broader concern that “the potential exists for a rapid escalation of the epidemic.”
Though Ukraine is considered to be a low prevalence country, Ukraine possesses a high prevalence environment where the virus can spread rapidly, especially among young people. At present, the vast majority of those infected in Ukraine are young people between the ages of 20 and 39. If effective actions aren’t taken now, the number of HIV cases in Ukraine may reach 1.44 million by 2010. The effects of such high prevalence could threaten or reverse much of the nation’s socio-economic progress since independence. Ukraine’s high prevalence environment was fostered by the socio-economic crisis of the last decade, which created conditions that facilitate the rapid spread of HIV. The social disruption accompanying economic collapse brought a dramatic increase intravenous drug use and a growth of the commercial sex business.
In 1995, a dramatic rise in HIV infections occurred as the primary mode of transmission shifted from sexual contact to intravenous drug use. Although intravenous drug use remains the primary mode of transmission, the spread of HIV to non-injecting drug users through heterosexual contact has risen dramatically from 11.3% in 1997 to 26.9% in 2001. Mother to child transmission of HIV has also been rising at alarming speed in the last few years from 2.2% in 1997 to 13.1% in 2001.
A nation-wide HIV epidemic in Ukraine can be prevented. But preventing an HIV epidemic requires the recognition of HIV/AIDS as a priority development issue; comprehensive scaling out and scaling up of prevention activities across the country and increased access to necessary life-prolonging antiretroviral therapies, care and support for those living with HIV/AIDS.
Public attitudes toward drug users are predominantly repressive and morally oriented along the axes of good-bad and guilt-punishment, which makes the development of adequate anti-drug policy very difficult.
*The article is based on data obtained from UN informational resources and reports of national governmental agencies.
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Ukrainian student, journalist and a planetary citizen. I invite you to take a look at Central's Europe largest state- Ukraine through Olexi-tinted spectacles. Somewhat approaching unbiased subjectivity :)
HIV/AIDS IN ULKRANE misheck tembo
| Jul 23rd, 2004
from the information in the panorama it sounds so alarming so much that there is need for more effort from all of us to contribute the fight against the deadly diseas.Thank God for me I came to know the repurcations at an early age of the indulgance in immorality.Through open discussion we can help the youngth in that country .There is need to educate the youth about consequencies.
HIV and AIDS in Ukraine Charity Fadun
| Oct 20th, 2004
Very good article.
What is currently being done in Ukraine related to HIV and AIDS? Do you know if schools are educated youth and children on the subject?
HIV/AIDS Rarest Of The Rare
| Dec 28th, 2004
I wasn't aware that there was a problem with this desease in the Ukraine. It's spreading, everyone needs to become aware of this virus and protect themselves. If not, it will keep spreading.
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