Ukraine’s Kyiv Post Publishes Opinion Pieces on Responses to Country’s HIV/AIDS Epidemic
Ukraine's Kyiv Post recently published two opinion pieces on the country's HIV/AIDS epidemic and the government and public response to the disease. Both opinion pieces are summarized below.
- Megan Buskey, the Post's assistant editor, writes that Ukraine's Ministry of Health recently has moved to implement regulations that "would hinder the country's fight against HIV/AIDS among its most at-risk demographic": injection drug users. She says that a proposed increase in severity of punishment for possession of "minute quantities" of illegal drugs and a proposal to include methadone on the country's list of prohibited narcotics are "bad idea[s]," adding that the country should implement successful "[p]rogressive responses to drug use" that have helped "stop some of the world's HIV/AIDS epidemics in their tracks" (Buskey, Kyiv Post, 8/17).
- David Veazey, a senior adviser at AIDS Foundation East-West, writes that a "large proportion" of Ukraine's HIV-positive residents are "completely off the official radar," primarily because of stigma and lack of education among the general population. More HIV/AIDS education programs and increased community mobilization need to be implemented, HIV-positive people need to be protected from discrimination by law, and journalists should "be careful to put the risks [of HIV infection] in perspective and not create fear for the sake of catchy headlines," Veazey says (Veazey, Kyiv Post, 8/10).