Svitanok Club believes in harm reduction approach

Old police symbolized corruption and the old regime, so the new reformers focused on overhauling this symbol. The recently rebooted police force in Boryspil is led by Lt. Maya Breslavski. Some of her patrol officers spend as much as 40 percent of their time dealing with drug-related issues.

Just like in the rest of the country, police here see and treat drug users as potential or actual criminals. However, some nongovernmental organizations in Ukraine like Svitanok Club believe a different approach can help policing Boryspil.

Svitanok Club was one of the first NGOs in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region created by people living with HIV who use drugs. Their mission is to improve the quality of life for people living with HIV and for drug users. Many of the Svitanok Club’s activists had to flee the war in Donetsk and are living in other parts of Ukraine now, helping other displaced people like themselves. 

Social workers from Svitanok have started working with the local patrol officers on another approach that’s proved a success around the world: Treat drug addiction as an illness, not a crime. The hope is that by changing the police officers’ mindset, dramatic changes in the community will follow.

By materials of

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Photo Misha Friedman



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Survey among HIV-positive women. Get involved!

1 December 2015

Sexual and reproductive health and rights of women living with HIV in Ukraine

 ACO “Positive women” launches survey and consultations with HIV-positive women from Ukraine in order to define the most important aspects of their lives as of sexual and reproductive health and human rights[1]. The priorities we identify will contribute to program activities agenda of UN Women country office in Ukraine and will be used for organization’s strategic planning.

This unique study is valuable for the very fact that it is led and to be carried out by women affected by HIV themselves. We plan to cover no lesser than 1000 women living with HIV from all over Ukraine. Continue reading

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Joint Call Regarding Health Crisis in Donbas, East Ukraine

24 July 2015

On behalf of the 100 health leaders, professionals and activists from 60 government institutions, technical partners, donors, civil society and affected communities committed to ending the tuberculosis and AIDS epidemics in Eastern Europe and Central Asia who gathered at Global Plan to Stop TB & Eastern Europe and Central Asia Consultation on Sustainable Impact, on 23-24 July 2015 in Istanbul, the Stop TB Partnership and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria express grave concerns over challenges in providing access to essential treatments for HIV, tuberculosis and opioid dependence in areas of Donbas in East Ukraine, where:

  • Nearly 8,000 HIV patients, including children and prisoners, are in danger of running out of life-saving antiretroviral medicines by mid-August. The Global Fund has approved an emergency fund grant to UNICEF in the amount of US$3.7 million for the duration of 12 months to prevent disruptions in the delivery of HIV treatment to the areas of Donbas affected by the military conflict.
  • Stocks of medicines for drug-resistant tuberculosis are insufficient, and further shortages – leading to more tuberculosis and more drug resistance – are expected.
  • More than 800 patients that had been receiving opioid substitution therapy can no longer access their treatment, and another 250 patients receive only a fraction of their regular dosages due to a complete lack of medicines. Continue reading
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Human Rights Watch about Acces to Medical Care

The government has yet to approve a regulation drafted in January that would allow humanitarian groups to deliver methadone and buprenorphine, used in OST, to rebel-controlled areas. Medical centers in Donetsk and Luhansk regions may have to shut down these treatments when the supply runs out, which could have a devastating impact on patients receiving this therapy who would be at significant risk of relapsing into illicit drug use and of accidental overdoses. Continue reading

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Love positive women 2015!

The International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) is proud to launch LOVE POSITIVE WOMEN 2015! For the next two weeks do something nice for the women living with HIV in your lives and local/global communities to show that you care about them! This includes yourself ladies! We are going to be posting and celebrating your actions between Sunday, February 1 – Saturday, February 14th, 2105.

No matter what your gesture of love, please send a picture or caption publicly via posting on the Facebook page or anonymously via email to
. This is how we share with and inspire others to pass on the love!


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