UNICEF research reveals that most at risk adolescents need immediate access to HIV-prevention services and social support
Kyiv, 18 June 2009 – Young Ukrainians who are most at risk are in core of the HIV epidemic. The majority of the infected young people aged before 19 are: female commercial sex workers (CSW) – 8%, men who have sex with men (MSM) – 12%, injecting drug users (IDU) – 6%. This data is provided by the report ‘Most-at-risk adolescents: the evidence base for strengthening the HIV response in Ukraine’ that was presented today by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Ukraine and the All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV (PLWH).
“These teenagers are most at risk of HIV infection because of social factors and their behaviour”, said Jeremy Hartley, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine. “So it is essential that this group of young people can access services and information that they can prevent themselves getting infected and keep healthy”, added Mr. Hartley.
‘It is the first time in Ukraine we have such comprehensive research among the most at risk adolescents. Now we have evidences that give us a hope for active actions from the government that will not leave aside this vulnerable group. We have to act now, because the society where children are ill and die does not have a future’ – said Volodymyr Zhovtyak, Head of Coordination Board of the All-Ukrainian Network of PLWH.
The results of the research ‘Most-at-risk adolescents: the evidence base for strengthening the HIV response in Ukraine’ are stating that:
For young people who are most at risk it is more difficult to get access to the prevention services because the majority of the existing programmes are targeting adults. The research confirms that estimated level of the HIV prevalence among most at risk adolescents is high, the level of the service provision is very low, and the access to the services is very limited.
About the Research: In the Country Programme of Cooperation between UNICEF and the Government of Ukraine for 2006-2010, UNICEF and the Government of Ukraine have agreed to prioritise prevention among most-at-risk adolescents, through creation of evidence-based knowledge on most-at-risk adolescents and their behaviour, HIV knowledge and service coverage.
The report ‘Most-at-risk adolescents: the evidence base for strengthening the HIV response in Ukraine’ presents the key findings of seven studies conducted by UNICEF and its partners in 2007-2008. This data will inform programming on most-at-risk adolescents and contribute to a more effective response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Ukraine.
This research was conducted by the Ukrainian Institute of Social Researches named after O.Yaremenko with UNICEF’ s support in the framework of an international project covering seven countries in Europe. In Ukraine the project was also supported by the Ministry of Family, Youth and Sport and State Social Service for Family, Children and Youth.
About UNICEF: UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. UNICEF Ukraine opened its office in Kyiv in 1997. More information about UNICEF Ukraine: www.unicef.org.ua
About All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS: The Network (http://network.org.ua) is a charitable organisation that is created by HIV-positive people. The organisation and is implementing national and international programmes that support people who are living with HIV/AIDS. All-Ukrainian Network of PLWH is one of the major recipients of the grant for 2007-2012 of the Global Fund’s for HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria. The main area of our work is explanation of the access to the medical services, care and support for the HIV-positive people. With such interventions their lives will be better and longer. In 2006 the All-Ukrainian Network of PLWH was recognised as the best organisation in the world in the area of combating stigma and discrimination regarding HIV-positive people.
For more information, please contact:
Veronika Vashchenko, Communication Officer, UNICEF Ukraine. Tel./e-mail: +38-044-230-2430, cell. 8067 927-60-38, email@example.com,
Inna Boyko, a.i. Head of the advocacy and policy department All-Ukrainian Network of PLWH. Tel./e-mail: +38 044 467-75-67, cell. 8066 638-63-10, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Olga Balakireva, Head of the Board of the Ukrainian Institute of Social Researches named after O.Yaremenko. Tel./email:+38 044 280 83 05, E-mail: email@example.com
The report ‘Most-at-risk adolescents: the evidence base for strengthening the HIV response in Ukraine’ presents the key findings of seven studies conducted by UNICEF and Ukrainian Institute of Social Researches named after O.Yaremenko in 2007-2008.
In Ukraine the project was also supported by the Ministry of Family, Youth and Sport and State Social Service for Family, Children and Youth.