The study devoted to socio economic impact of AIDS epidemic in Ukraine was conducted by the World Bank and International HIV/AIDS Alliance. According to the forecast, 140 Ukrainians would die every day due to AIDS-related illnesses in 2014 year.
“When the tragedies of such scale happen – as the result of aircraft catastrophe or accident at the coalmine, – Elena Pinchuk compares – the whole country goes into mourning. It becomes number one topic for all mass media. So, only 6 years from today, AIDS-AIRLINES airplane with 140 passengers on board will “crash” in Ukraine every day. That’s why we all have to consolidate and change the models of behavior, make every day the day of fighting against AIDS and to prevent the every day being a day of national mourning”.
The World Bank experts say that epidemic rapidly gets over traditional risk groups (injecting drug users and commercial sex workers) and becomes a real threat for all community. The percentage of heterosexually transmitted infections grew from 11% in 1997year to 35% in 2006 year. An increasing number of females at the childbearing age are testing positive. Their number has already been 39% among the total infected. The epidemic is also getting younger. Two thirds of all new HIV infections are among young people aged 20-34. The experts assert that the epidemic will speed up demographic crisis in Ukraine and the population will additionally decrease by 500 000.
Economic consequences are also expected to be devastating. Only budget direct financial losses come to 1, 3 billion UAH. The result of the epidemic spreading could be 6% decrease of the GDP, 2% decreasing of the labor force, 9% decreasing of the national export, 9% decreasing of the investments. Common wealth will be reduced on 8%.
“AIDS could lead to the serious social and economic crisis”, – Executive Director of the World Bank in Ukraine, Belorus, Moldova, Europe and Central Asia, Paul Bermingham, shared his concerns during the presentation.
Because of situation’ rapid worsening and unfavorable forecasts, ANTIAIDS Foundation launches the new action program “On The Edge”. Its main goal is the fundamental change of the community attitude to the AIDS problem.
“Time for talking about AIDS has finished. AIDS epidemic has started already. Now the threat of infection is the problem of every family, every Ukrainian in spite of his doing and living. But we still have a chance. But the whole country should realize the scale of epidemic. We want to enlist the support of all whose voices will be heard. We want to attract the best international experience. We want the country knows – we are on the edge. If everybody will know this, if everybody will be responsible, if everybody will use personal means of protection, we have a chance not to step over the last line. Because over this line irreversible process will come and destroy the future of our children and our country,” – Elena Pinchuk said during the presentation.
For detailed information, please, contact Pavel Piminov, Communications Director, Elena Pinchuk ANTIAIDS Foundation on e-mail: P.Piminov@antiaids.org. Contact phone number: +38 (044) 490 4805.