Revised HIV Law in Ukraine

The WHO Regional Office for Europe, through its Country Office in Kiev, has worked closely with UNAIDS and other United Nations’ organizations in supporting the update of the Ukrainian Law on Prevention of AIDS and Social Protection of the Population.

Among other provisions the revised law will: remove HIV related restrictions on entry of foreigners to the country; make it possible for non-governmental organizations to receive state contracts for providing HIV services; not require statutory disclosure of HIV status to a partner and establish the rights to compensation for unlawful disclosure of one's HIV status; and ensure provision of opioid substitution therapy for injecting drug users.

The new version of the AIDS Law was adopted by the Ukrainian Parliament in the first hearing and the final version is now pending the Parliamentarian approval in the second hearing. The revised law is the result of two years intensive and collaborative work, including the involvement of non-governmental sector, especially All-Ukrainian Network of People living with HIV, the support from the USAID-funded HIV/AIDS Service Capacity Project in Ukraine and the United Nations Team Group on HIV/AIDS. The change would not have been successful without a close collaboration with the Parliamentarian Committee on Public Health and its chair Dr Tatyana Bakhteeva who was very much committed to the issue.

The revisions are also in line with WHO Regional Office for Europe’s HIV/AIDS, STIs & Viral Hepatitis (HSV) Programme objective to “reduce vulnerability and address structural barriers to accessing services”.

The HSV programme, part of the new Division of Communicable Diseases, Health Security & Environment, is currently preparing a European Action Plan for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care of HIV/AIDS in the WHO European Region 2011-2015 which is framed by the Global Health Sector Strategy for HIV/AIDS 2011-2015.