Resource Logo
Agence France-Presse

HIV-positive Ukrainians protest clinic closure


KIEV, Sept 12, 2013 (AFP) - Patients at Ukraine's main HIV hospital on Thursday handcuffed themselves to their beds in protest at plans for its closure.

Three HIV-positive patients at the clinic in central Kiev handcuffed themselves to their beds in front of television cameras to protest at plans by the country's medical establishment to close the unit.

"This is a war. Every war has victims. The cynical, cruel decisions taken by the Academy of Medical Sciences also have a price: our lives," said one of the protesters, Anna Konstantinova.

The Kiev clinic, run by the Institute of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases, is exceptionally well-equipped and staffed for Ukraine, one of the ex-Soviet countries with the highest rate of HIV infection.

"This is the only place where people can save their lives and fight HIV," said another protester, Sergei Dmitriyev from the city of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine, where there is no in-patient facility for HIV-positive patients.

Since 2011, the hospital, which has around 9,000 registered patients from all over Ukraine, has been at the centre of an acrimonious conflict over its planned closure.

The in-patients complained that the government had promised to keep the clinic open until a new purpose-built hospital was built in Kiev, but was now pressuring the staff to move the patients out before it was ready.

According to UNAIDS, around 350,000 people are infected with HIV in Ukraine, which has a population of 46 million.


Copyright © 2013 -Agence France-Presse, Publisher. All rights reserved to AFP articles contained on the AEGiS web site may not be reproduced, distributed,transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without AFP's prior written permission. You may make one copy of each article for your personal, non-commercial use only; more copies would require AFP's prior written permission obtained from the owners of any trademarks or copyrighted materials whose marks and materials are included in AFP photos or materials. Therefore you will be solely responsible for obtaining any and all necessary releases from whatever individuals and/or entities necessary for any uses of AFP stories, photos or graphics Agence France-Presse

Information in this article was accurate in September 12, 2013. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.