(Right) Masha, 17, helps children complete questionnaires about HIV and AIDS during a peer-to-peer education session in Ukraine.
FIGHTING HIV and AIDS
Earlier sexual activity has not been matched by increased awareness about the dangers of HIV.
The commercial sex trade. The region is seeing growing numbers of vulnerable girls and women exploited in the commercial sex industry, often facing violence and abuse, with the inevitable risk of HIV infection.
Punitive policies, including criminalization of drug use, sex work and homosexuality, drive those at risk away from the help they need.
Stigma and discrimination.
Children abandoned by HIV+ mothers. Some live in hospitals. Those in institutions are isolated from other children and from their families.
Children orphaned by HIV and AIDS will probably grow up in institutions. Few, if any, are fostered or adopted by local families.
The lack of support for those who need it.
A chronic lack of data, particularly data on the behaviour of young people and data disaggregated by gender or age.
21-year-old woman in Ukraine living with HIV tells her story Iryna Kalinichenko works to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS in her native Ukraine, where the infection rate with the disease is on the rise, especially among young people. Related story