“Kyiv welcomes the global initiative of Fast-Track Cities and we are ready to join the team of the selected cities to introduce innovations to end AIDS epidemics. Today this illness is not just a problem a certain country or a city. It is a threat and challenge to the whole world. And our task is to do everything possible to put an end to it,” Klitschko noted.
The mayor said that Kyiv is one among world’s large cities, which is severely affected by HIV/AIDS. It is ranked 4 among Ukraine’s regions in terms of HIV prevalence.
“It is estimated that over 32 thousand HIV-infected people live in Kyiv. But only a third of them are under medical supervision. Yes, this situation is difficult. But with the assistance of non-governmental organizations during previous 10 years Ukraine managed to achieve certain results,” the mayor said.
In particular, infection rate fell twice among the people who receive narcotics and by 10 times among the commercial sex workers. We have almost eliminated vertical HIV transmission from a mother to a child (only a few cases were registered). We expanded the number of people who receive antiretroviral treatment and are one of the first who introduced substitution maintenance therapy in Ukraine.
“Kyiv hosts a special medical facility – City AIDS Center, which is one of the best in our country. Under municipal program “Health of Kyiv residents” we have allocated 200 thousand of US dollars for detection and treatment of HIV, more than 740 thousand of US dollars will be spent on functioning of AIDS service, and 60 thousand US dollars for support of the facilities for HIV-positive children and youth”, Klitschko emphasized.
According to Vitali Klitschko, Kyiv is implementing two HIV/AIDS counteraction pilot projects which aim to improve services for the HIV-positive people.
“For reaching Fast Track aims, we are interested in cooperation with USAID. We are ready to implement innovations and hope for an opportunity to adopt best practices of other large cities where effective anti-AIDS programs are implemented,” Klitschko underlined.
Politicians, scientists, donor organizations, civil society leaders, and human rights activists will attend the conference, which aims at supporting efforts of Fast-Track Cities Initiative. One of the goals of the event is to develop clear strategies for ending AIDS and poverty in the world’s most adversely affected large cities. The meeting will pay particular attention to three cities, including Kyiv.
The conference is jointly organized by the World Bank Group, UNAIDS, UNICEF, UNDP, ILO, Housing Works and the U.S. Office of the Global Health Coordinator.
During the working visit to Washington DC, Vitali Klitschko met with Victoria Nuland, the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Senator John McCain, and Atlantic Council leadership.
Moreover, the mayor will visit The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington to hold consultations on further cooperation in Babyn Yar Memorial creation.