Better HIV/AIDS protection for the population of Ukraine

Project description

Title: HIV/AIDS advisory services and institutional capacity building 
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) 
Country: Ukraine 
Lead executing agency: Ukrainian Ministry of Health 
Overall term: 2007 to 2018

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Context

The spread of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (more widely known as HIV) is a major threat for Ukraine. The country has the highest rate of new HIV infections in Europe. Over 241,000 people are living with HIV, equivalent to 0.98 per cent of people between the ages of 15 and 49. Roughly 63.6 per cent of new HIV infections in 2017 were due to unprotected intercourse. HIV causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). HIV and AIDS are a pressing social problem in Ukraine, exacerbated by the military conflict in the east of the country and the large number of internally displaced persons.

Objective

People throughout Ukraine are better informed on the dangers of HIV and can protect themselves more effectively. Tolerance towards people living with HIV is higher.

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Approach

GIZ has been cooperating with the Ukrainian Ministry of Health since 2007. The nationwide campaign entitled Don’t Give AIDS a Chance was launched in 2009. It is based on the Gib AIDS keine Chance campaign conducted by the German Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA).

The Ukrainian campaign utilises both mass media and personal communication. Posters, information material, major events and television advertisements educate the population on the HIV epidemic and how to reduce the risk. Over 22,000 billboards and city-light posters have been installed since 2009. An interactive online platform has also been set up.

To raise public awareness of the HIV/AIDS problem, major events with concerts and free, confidential HIV tests are organised every year. Continuing professional development measures are offered to general practitioners on the topics of Advice and Testing with HIV Rapid Antibody Tests and HIV Prevention in the Workplace and Educational Institutions. The Fair Play football programme and the peer-to-peer approach in the Join-in Circuit raise awareness for healthy lifestyles and HIV prevention among young people. Preventive education instruments such as these target youth from 12 to 18 years and promote awareness of HIV, HIV tests, living with HIV, sexually transmitted diseases, contraceptives, reproductive health and tolerance.

The activities are now being run both in the priority regions of Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhia, and the rest of Ukraine.

The project also supports the Ukrainian Ministry of Health in implementing preventive measures and information campaigns.

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Results

More than 153,000 children throughout Ukraine have been made more aware of HIV/AIDS and HIV prevention issues since the project started and cooperation got under way with the Ministry of Health, the Ukrainian Football Association and United Nations Volunteers. Some 10,830 teachers have attended training courses on HIV Prevention in the Workplace and 1,073 parents have taken part in the Join-in Circuit. Many other regions can now continue their work without any additional support.

From 2014 to 2018, the project worked with 1,030 educational institutions in the regions of Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhia. This figure is 171 per cent higher than originally planned.

In the course of the project, 2,383 general practitioners, including 100 from the regions of Luhansk und Donetsk, have been trained in Advisory Services and Testing with HIV Rapid Antibody Tests.