A patient waits to be treated in the toxicology unit in a hospital treating drug users in separatist-held Donetsk.

Another ugly face of war: Ukraine has a rising HIV crisis

A lot has been said and written about the recent conflict in Ukraine. Long meetings and summits as well as extensive public debates have taken place. However, wars and conflicts give rise to millions of displaced people. In the Ukraine, reports mention millions displaced internally and struggling for their basic needs. A hard-to-predict consequence was also the rise of an HIV epidemic. A new scientific study has found that HIV spreads in these sorts of conditions, so that now Ukraine has the highest prevalence of HIV in Europe.
At DiEM25, we strongly believe in diminishing inequalities and we fight for equity. This silent HIV epidemic indicates an emerging humanitarian crisis in Ukraine as a result of war. Scientific advance should not only benefit the rich and ‘developed’ countries but also come to the aid of health issues in ‘developing’ countries. Compared to the benefits conferred, it would be of limited cost to Europe and the USA to use their expertise to support basic health policies to help Ukraine tackle this HIV epidemic. Instead of wrangling over the conflict, we should prioritise providing each country with the help and support it needs for its people. We are collectively developing our policies not only for restoring democracy to Europe but also on peace, health and foreign relations. Join us here and be part of our effort.
 
Aris is a member and volunteer of the DiEM25 movement.
 
 
Photo: A patient waits to be treated in the toxicology unit in a hospital treating drug users in separatist-held Donetsk. AFP
 

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