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Hepatitis C Treatment in Ukraine: A Victory For Patients

Price is a game changer. Just look at the effects caused by the advent of low-cost airlines. Flying has never been cheaper and people who could not afford boarding a plane can now travel to places they had only dreamed of. In other words, it has brought changes to the industry and to people's lifestyle. The same applies to health. Cheaper health products change people's lives. Ukraine has the highest prevalence in Europe of hepatitis C, a chronic liver disease that can be especially deadly when it strikes HIV patients. The number of people infected is estimated at 1.2 million for a population of 44 million. Yet the high cost of medication has been a serious impediment to treatment. A near monopoly in the pharmaceutical market by Merck (MSD) and Roche, the two companies that manufacture Pegylated Interferon, has kept prices stubbornly high. But thanks to the support of the Global Fund, Alliance Ukraine recently negotiated a steep discount with a pharmaceutical manufacturer for medication, enabling treatment to be significantly expanded for highly vulnerable patients co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C. This news is of little relief for the 300,000 people who died of hepatitis C since the beginning of the year, but could save the lives of 150 million people infected with the virus.

Ukrainian Prostitute Counsellor – An Interview

Author: 
Graham W. Phillips

An English writer Graham W. Phillips, the author of the book "Ukraine - men, women, sex, murder", in his interview with the project manager supporting sex workers in Kyiv and the Kyiv Region YuliaTsarevska analyzes the reasons for the high level of prostitution in Ukraine.

I meet Yulia at the office of Convictus, a charity which provides help and support to prostitutes, having had to earlier reschedule our appointment from 12pm to 3pm. Yulia informs me this is actually good, as none of her clients were in the office earlier. Initially, being shown into the office and seeing a couple of girls sitting in a standard, basement office room, one eating, the other on a laptop, I’m unsure as to whether they’re non working girls or working girls. Yulia ConvictusLater, it turns out the latter, but before that Yulia and I go to an adjoining room for a chat. Firstly, I ask Yulia why it is Ukraine has such a reputation for prostitutes, to which Yulia responds without hesitation: “FEMEN, their posters and shouting that ‘Ukraine is not a Bordello’ has actually enforced the opposite idea in people’s minds, who are now sure that Ukraine is actually a bordello.”

Kyiv City State Administration has supported the programmes for prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases

Today Kyiv City State Administration and the International Charitable Foundation have concluded the Agreement on Cooperation and Understanding. The signing ceremony was also attended by Evgeniya Kuvshynova, the Executive Director of the All-Ukrainian Charitable Organisation “Convictus Ukraine” as a representative of the non-government sector and an implementator of the programmes of the "International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine”.

In accordance with the Agreement concluded, the Kyiv city authorities will support the programmes for prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted infections. The Agreement will contribute to more efficient interaction between the city healthcare facilities, international donors and civil society organizations within the framework of the implementation of the State Programme for Ensuring HIV Prevention, Treatment, Care, and Support to HIV-positive People and Patients with AIDS for years 2009–2013, as well as the Concept of the National Target Social Programme for Combating Tuberculosis in Ukraine for 2012-2016, approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

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