Even though new HIV infections are decreasing globally, Ukraine continues to experience an increase in the HIV epidemic, especially in the context of key populations at higher risk of HIV. According to UNAIDS experts, there are up to 240,000 people living with HIV in Ukraine. As of May 1, 2018, there were 143,766 HIV cases registered in Ukraine. According to the data of the Center for Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, there were 8,834 new cases of HIV infection (of which 1,156 were among children under 14 years old) in the first six months of 2018. The distribution of new HIV infections is primarily among key populations at higher risk of HIV with approximately 51 percent among people who inject drugs and 33 percent among clients of sex workers. TB is the main co-infection in HIV-cases and a cause of death of every second AIDS patient.
While there have been improvements generally in the legal and human rights environment relevant to HIV and TB in Ukraine, certain legal barriers do persist. The rights of people living with HIV (hereinafter – PLHIV), key populations most at risk of HIV and people with or who have experienced, are still not well protected and the legal, policy and regulatory frameworks that govern national efforts in prevention, treatment, care and support need significant strengthening. According to preliminary findings of the TB LEA Baseline Assessment conducted in Ukraine in 2018, stigma and discrimination remain significant barriers to services for people with real or perceived HIV or TB status, as well as towards key populations, levels of unauthorized HIV-status disclosure remain high, current regulatory documents do not provide a proper basis for delivering comprehensive HIV prevention and treatment services in prisons or pre-trial detention centers, poor treatment of people who inject drugs and sex workers by law enforcement agencies and fear of the police are barriers to accessing prevention and treatment services.
Promotion of rule of law and human rights with the focus on key populations is one of the goals of UNDP in Ukraine. As a part of strengthening efforts in response to HIV, UNDP aims to overcome legal barriers to HIV and TB treatment, discrimination of PLHIV, key populations most at risk of HIV and people who have experienced TB. The courts play a key role in ensuring an enabling legal environment for PLHIV, key populations, people who have experienced TB and reducing the further spread of HIV. Legislation, rules and legal standards do not work without their implementation in practice. In this context, one of the main supportive factors for rights protection of key populations is a functional and effective judicial system. It can be involved effectively in implementing laws, policies and practices that can aid the HIV response.
Given the above, UNDP will support a Judges breakfast meeting on 5th of November 2018.
The format of the event is 1,5 -2 hours breakfast for judges. Introductory remarks will be followed by the discussion. After introductory words, a possibility for questions and comments will be provided through open microphone.
Director of the UHHRU Oleksandr Pavlichenko and coordinator of the public advice centers of UHHRU Natalya Kozarenko will take their part in this event.
For the details see announcement of the event.