Openly about AIDS: a workshop for future social workers

7 грудня 2019 року

 World AIDS Day is an opportunity to learn the facts about HIV and put it into practice. If people understand how HIV is transmitted, how they can be prevented, and are aware of today's reality of living with HIV, they can take care of their own health and the health of others through this knowledge and help those living with HIV. 


In 2003, the All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV took the initiative to change the name of the Day of December, 1 from “AIDS Day” to “Day of Understanding with HIV-Positive People” in order to increase the tolerance of society for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Ukraine today is one of the first countries in the European region in terms of the number of HIV-positive people. According to estimates, at the beginning of 2018, there were 244,000 HIV-positive people in the country. Every 100th citizen of Ukraine in age 15-49 is infected with HIV, which is one of the highest rates among the countries in the region.
According to the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the European Regional Office of the World Health Organization, the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which is territorially located in Ukraine, is the only one in the world in which the number of new HIV infections and AIDS deaths continues to increase .
As of April 1, 2019, according to the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, there were 142,076 HIV-positive citizens in health care facilities (an indicator of 336.5 per 100,000 population), including 46,987 patients with a diagnosis AIDS (111.3). The highest rates of HIV infection were registered in Odesa (898.3 per 100,000 population), Dnipropetrovsk (792.6), Mykolaiv (743.5) oblasts, Kyiv (479.0), Kyiv (447.9), Kherson (420.1) and Chernihiv (420.4) regions.
Due to such an acute state problem, the dean of the Faculty for Humanities and Pedagogics Vasyl Shynkaruk initiated a seminar for students of the specialty "Social work", whose future professional activity could be related to the provision of social services to the relevant population.

Students of the first and second years of study of the Faculty for Humanities and Pedagogics, as well as the instructors of the Department of Social Work and Rehabilitation, held a seminar on Tolerant Attitudes to HIV-positive People.
The event covered various HIV-related topics: told about symptoms, dispelled the top 10 most common myths, plunged into history, and tracked the spread of the virus. Vyacheslav Krupka, the head of the Wellness Center of the University, also came to our event, who spoke about AIDS medically, helping to understand the topic better. At the seminar, the students also talked to the psychologist of the television program "I am ashamed of my body" by Zarina Davletshyna - a doctor, a psychotherapist who worked in psychoneurological and drug dispensaries, rehabilitation centers for drug users, as well as in charitable organizations engaged in positive organizations. The speaker described how the human immunodeficiency virus is transmitted and how to protect yourself, because the disease is more behavioral, ie taking care of your health the risk of infection approaches zero.

According to the UNAIDS 2016-2021 Strategy “Towards an Acceleration to Fight AIDS”, steps need to be taken to ensure that 90% of people living with HIV (PLWH) are aware of their HIV status by the end of 2020. -status, 90% of people who are aware of their positive HIV status received appropriate treatment and 90% of those treated had undetectable HIV viral load levels. Thus, in Ukraine, by 2020, an additional 97,000 PLHIV should be covered by treatment, and 87,000 of them should have undetectable levels of the virus in their blood. Achieving these goals will put an end to the HIV epidemic in the country, prevent new cases of HIV infection, reduce mortality from HIV-related diseases, and help people with HIV to live a full life.

Lesya Viktorova,
Head of the Department of Social Work and Rehabilitation

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