Official Data on HIV/AIDS*
|Number of registered people living with HIV as of 01.01.2013||129,136|
|Number of reported new cases of HIV infection in 2012||20,777|
|Number of people on ART as of 01.01.2013||40,350|
|Number of reported deaths due to AIDS-related diseases in 2012||3,870|
|Number of children born to HIV positive mothers in 2012||3,881|
Rate of mother to child HIV transmission (calculated in 2012 for children born in 2010)
Modes of transmission among new HIV cases registered in 2012
|51% sexual contacts,
29% injecting drug use,
20% mother to child transmission
* - Source: Ministry of Health of Ukraine, Ukrainian Centre of the control over socially dangerous diseases, Institute of epidemiology and infection diseases, Information Bulletin 39, Kyiv-2013.
HIV/AIDS Estimates and Projections 2
(New HIV/AIDS estimates and projections will be available at July 2013)
|Number of people living with HIV aged 15+ for 2013||201,000|
|HIV prevalence rate among adults aged 15-49 for 2013||0.66%|
|HIV prevalence rate among adults aged 15+ for 2013||0.51%|
|Number of deaths of AIDS-related diseases for 2013||17,000|
|Number of patients with HIV infection who need ART for 2013||117,000|
HIV epidemic in Ukraine: overview and trends
Ukraine has one of the most severe HIV epidemics in Europe, with an estimated 201,000 people living with HIV and 0.66% HIV prevalence among adults aged 15-49 years.2 Each day, 57 people are diagnosed with HIV in Ukraine, 27 people diagnosed with AIDS and 11 die of AIDS related diseases, according to official statistics1. However, it is generally accepted that the official data do not reflect the real scale of the HIV epidemic in the country as the actual number of people living with HIV in Ukraine is far greater than what the official reports suggest2.
For the first time the number of annually reported new cases of HIV infection reduced from 21,177 in 2011 to 20,777 in 2012. Most of the new HIV cases are reported among people aged 25-49 years (66%), women remaining at an increased risk of HIV as their proportion of the newly reported HIV cases compared to men in this age group continues to rise, and in 2012 constitutes 45%. The proportion of young people aged 15-25 years among all the newly registered HIV cases has decreased from 9% in 2011 to 8% in 2012, indicating possible impact of the information and education programmes and behaviour change among young people1.
Reported New Cases of HIV in Ukraine, 1987-20123
The numbers of reported deaths due to AIDS-related diseases is high and continue to increase from 3,741 in 2011 to 3,875 in 2012. Tuberculosis continues to be the major AIDS related disease and cause of AIDS associated death in Ukraine. In 2012, tuberculosis was diagnosed in 5,541 (55%) out of the total 10,085 new AIDS cases. The low coverage of antiretroviral therapy (ART), late diagnosis and late reporting for treatment - all contribute to the increase of AIDS related deaths. It is estimated that only two out of three people living with HIV in Ukraine have been tested for HIV and are aware of their HIV-positive status.
HIV prevalence by regions in Ukraine3 (per 100,000 population)
There is an uneven spread of HIV infection in different regions of Ukraine1. Highest rates are registered in Southern and Eastern parts of the country, where especially Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Odessa, and Mykolayiv regions, the City of Sebastopol, and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea stand out with significantly higher HIV prevalence rates compared to the country average. However, it is likely that in several regions with limited access to HIV testing the registered number of new HIV cases may even be substantially higher than what the official statistics suggest as the number of officially registered new HIV cases directly reflects the number of tests carried out for HIV1.
The prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) has shown being most successful HIV programme in Ukraine with the highest impact thanks to the effective implementation of the National PMTCT Programme, contributing to the proportion of HIV-infected pregnant women receiving ART for the PMTCT expanding to 95.8% in 2012 and the rate of mother-to-child transmission reducing from 27.8% in 2001 to 4.9% in 2010 (calculated in 2012 for children born in 2010). However, the increasing number of HIV infected women in the child-bearing age has caused a gradual increase in the number of infants born to HIV infected mothers, and consequently, the overall number of children with confirmed HIV-positive status continues to increase1.
The HIV epidemic in Ukraine remains concentrated among the key populations at higher risk of HIV such as people who inject drugs, sex workers, and men who have sex with men, with the HIV rates being high also among prisoners. The recent reports on the growth of the sexual transmission of HIV however raise considerable concern about the potential of the epidemic to “bridge” into the general population. In 2012, the proportion of HIV-positive people reporting being infected as a result of unprotected sexual encounters increased to 51,1% compared with the 28,6% reporting as being infected through the injection of drugs. Yet, the sexual mode of HIV transmission remains mainly related to the unsafe sexual behaviour of people who inject drugs and their sexual partners and thus, also contributing to the increased number of women that get infected by HIV as a result of unprotected sexual contact with HIV-infected men who inject drugs1.
People who inject drugs*: Around 332,500 [278,000 – 387,000] people are estimated to inject drugs in Ukraine2. The HIV prevalence in this group reaches 21.5%, with the highest rate of 43.8% in Mykolayiv region, 41.3% in Dnipropetrovsk region, and 37.5% in Chernigiv region. The HIV prevalence in women who inject drugs is 23.6% compared with 20.8% in men who inject drugs, reflecting upon the women’s higher vulnerability to HIV infection through injecting drug use. After more than ten years of consistent growth in the number of reported new HIV cases in people who inject drugs, the 2011 data indicates the stabilization of the HIV epidemic in this group of population with the HIV prevalence among young people who inject drugs aged 25 and under decreasing to 7.1% in 2011 compared to 24.4% in people who use drugs aged 25 and over, and the absolute number of reported new HIV cases in people who inject drugs reducing from 7,084 in 2007 to 6,588 in 2011. However, the HIV rates among people who inject drugs still remain high and the group remains the most affected by the epidemic in the country1.
Sex workers*: Ukraine does not officially register the HIV infection cases among female sex workers, but the findings from the sentinel surveillance studies indicate wide spread of HIV infection in this group. The estimated number of female sex workers in Ukraine totals 67,500 [52,000 – 83,000]2 and the overall HIV prevalence in this group amounts to 9.0%, reaching as high as 38.2% in Donetsk region, 23.7% in Kyiv region and 23.03% in Poltava region. The HIV prevalence among female sex workers who inject drugs is higher than those who do not use injecting drugs (40.5%, compared with 6.4%, respectively)1.
Men who have sex with men*: Another group facing an increased risk of HIV is men who have sex with men who are estimated at 224,500 [200,000 – 249,000] in Ukraine.2 The HIV prevalence in this group reaches 6.4%, which is an underestimate of the true magnitude of the HIV epidemic in this group of men whose access to HIV related services remains limited1.
Prisoners*: Ukraine has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world (323 per 100,000 population) with approximately 130,000–140,000 prisoners at one time. Yet only little over one third of these people have been tested for HIV. In 2011, through the sentinel surveillance study, the HIV prevalence among prisoners was found as high as 13.7% ranging between 0 and 52% across various settings. The HIV prevalence was the highest among the prisoners with experience of injecting drug use (22.9%) compared with 8.1% among those with no history of injecting drug use1.
Adolescents and youth at higher risk of HIV exposure*: Although there is a positive trend in reduction of officially registered new HIV cases in persons aged 15-24 from 2,775 in 2005 to 1,907 in 2011, the situation among adolescents and youth at higher risk of HIV is still of particular concern. Young people who inject drugs, adolescent girls who sell sex and young people living in the streets are at especially high risk of HIV infection due to their vulnerability and extremely limited access to HIV prevention, care and support services that currently are mostly targeting people over 25. Many of these young people do not seek care or support as they fear police harassment or being sent to state institutions. In 2011, the HIV prevalence in the age group under 25 was 7.1% in people who inject drugs, 7.1% in female sex workers, 7.8% in men who have sex with men, and 17.3% in prisoners1.
Migrants*: Over 160,000 migrants are permanent residents of Ukraine, while another large group comprises of undocumented migrants. There is no official data on the rates or risk of HIV in migrants residing in Ukraine. The only bio-behavioral survey conducted in 2010-2011 among the Ukrainian labour migrants with a record of employment abroad found the high HIV prevalence among them at 2.9% that is attributable to their high risk behaviours such as injecting drugs, sex trade, and imprisonment. More evidence is required to better understand the link between migration and HIV infection as well as the impact of Ukrainian labour migrants’ sexual and other behaviours on HIV transmission, to further design and implement relevant HIV prevention and care programmes for migrants both leaving from and coming to Ukraine1.
*New estimates for key population will be available by the end of 2013
1 - Ministry of Health of Ukraine: “Ukraine Harmonized AIDS Response Progress Report”. Reporting period: January 2010 – December 2011. Kyiv – 2012.
2 - Ukrainian AIDS Centre of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, World Health Organization (WHO), Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine: National Estimates of HIV/AIDS in Ukraine 2012. Kyiv – 2012.
3 - Ministry of Health of Ukraine, Ukrainian Centre of the control over socially dangerous diseases of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, Institute of epidemiology and infection diseases named after L.V. Gromashevsky, Information Bulletin 39, Kyiv -2013.
Official sources and statistics on HIV and AIDS in Ukraine:
- Ministry of Health of Ukraine, Ukrainian Centre of the control over socially dangerous diseases of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, Institute of epidemiology and infection diseases named after L.V. Gromashevsky, HIV Infection in Ukraine, Information Bulletin 39, Kyiv -2013.
- ‘Ukraine Harmonized AIDS Response Progress Report 2012’. Ministry of Health of Ukraine, Kyiv 2012.
- ‘National Estimates of HIV/AIDS in Ukraine 2012’, Ukrainian AIDS Center under the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, WHO, UNAIDS, International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine, Kyiv 2012.
- ‘HIV Prevention among Most-at-risk Adolescents: Implementation Results Among Targeted Models’, UNICEF and Ukrainian Institute for Social Research after Olexander Yaremenko, Kyiv 2011
- ‘Millennium Development Goals. Ukraine 2010. National Report’. Ministry of Economy of Ukraine.
- ‘National Human Development Report 2011. Ukraine: Towards Social Inclusion’, UNDP, 2011
- ‘UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic’, 2010
- ‘UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report 2011. How to Get to Zero: Faster. Smarter. Better’, 2011
Additional information can be found at:
- State Service of Ukraine on HIV/AIDS and Other Socially Dangerous Diseases
- Ukrainian Center for AIDS Prevention of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine
- International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine
- All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV
- The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
- World Health Organization
- United Nations System in Ukraine