HIV spread dynamics
- The number of people living with HIV has increased by 16.7% for a year between 2003 and 2004.
- The number of people living with HIV increased by 3.73 % for 10 months of 2005 comparing to the same period of 2004.
All figures from Ukrainian AIDS Centre. For the year 2005 - the forecast figures (on November 2005).
AIDS-related death dynamics
- The number of AIDS-related deaths has increased by 27.61% in 2004 in comparison to 2003.
- The number of AIDS-related deaths has increased by 59.07% for 10 months of 2005 to the same period of 2004.
Ukrainian AIDS Centre data. For the year 2005 - the forecast figures (last data available on November 2005).
Dynamics and the ways of HIV transmission
- The number of people infected with HIV through unprotected sex increased up to 32% in 2004 (Ukrainian AIDS Centre Epidemic Update 2005).
- The number of HIV-infected among blood donors and pregnant women proceeds to grow each year.
Ukrainian AIDS Centre data
UNAIDS/WHO Estimate data
UNAIDS/WHO Epidemic Update 21.11.05
Ukraine, with estimated adult HIV prevalence of 1.4%, remains the worst-affected country in Europe. Fuelled by unsafe injecting drug use and unprotected sex, its epidemic shows no signs of abating.
The annual number of newly reported HIV cases continues to rise and exceeded 12 400 in 2004, almost 25% more than the 10 000 cases diagnosed in 2003 and almost double the number diagnosed in 2000 (Ukrainian AIDS Centre, 2005a; EuroHIV, 2005). These figures understate the actual size of the epidemic by a wide margin since they only reflect infections among people who have been in direct contact with official testing facilities.
The epidemic is rapidly spreading beyond the ten regions in southern and eastern Ukraine where over two thirds of all HIV cases have been reported to date. Sharp increases in new reported infections are occurring in central regions of Ukraine previously thought to be minimally affected.
Risk behaviour among injecting drug users remains widespread. A recent national study found that only 20% of drug injectors said they avoided using non-sterile injecting equipment and practiced safe sex (Ministry of Health of Ukraine, 2005).
Adding further impetus to the epidemic is the overlap between injecting drug use and commercial sex. In Odessa, 67% of sex workers who also injected drugs were HIV-positive, while in Donetsk, Lutsk, Poltava and Simferopol the corresponding figure ranged from 35% to 50%.
The proportion of people infected through sexual transmission of HIV continues to grow. Many of those people were infected by a sexual partner who likely acquired HIV through unsafe injecting drug use. However, a growing proportion of new, sexually-transmitted HIV cases involve people whose sexual partners do not have a history of injecting drug use (Grund et al., 2005).
This underlines the diffuse nature of Ukraine’s epidemic, with HIV now circulating within the general population and increasing numbers of women becoming infected. Women accounted for 42% of people newly-diagnosed with HIV infection in 2004 (Ukrainian AIDS Centre, 2005).