The risk of HIV infected Ukrainians dying from AIDS is higher than in the most epidemic regions in Africa, Executive Director of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine Andriy Klepikov stated in a KW interview this week.

With a reference to a report by UNAIDS, UN Program for the Fight against AIDS, he said: “This year less people have died worldwide from AIDS than last year. In Ukraine it is the opposite case. HIV-infected Ukrainians today are at higher risk of dying from AIDS than people in the most infected regions of Africa.”

“At first glance, this is a paradoxical situation because there is even a stereotype that AIDS is first and foremost associated with African countries. In truth, we’ve surpassed that most highly infected region,” Klepikov noted.

The expert says the AIDS mortality in Africa has dropped to 31%, an impressive progress against Ukraine’s 70%. The expert attributed this alarming trend in the country to miserly financing. “First and foremost, such an ominous trend is due to insufficient financing from the state budget as this is not the first year that the nationwide AIDS program is underfinanced by more than 50%. It is precisely for this reason that we witness such alarming consequences,” Klepikov pointed out.