Remarks by Ambassador Yovanovitch at World AIDS Day Commemoration

Kyiv, Ukraine
November 30, 2018 

As Delivered

Hello everybody! It’s really an honor to join everybody here today to commemorate World AIDS Day.

And thank you, especially to 100% Life for organizing such a significant event.

And I want to thank everybody else who is here on a very cold Friday morning to bring awareness to this important issue.

Because the battle with HIV/AIDS has claimed far too many lives in Ukraine.

That’s why the United States is committed to partnering with the Ukrainian government, civil society, and private sector to increase access to HIV treatment.

The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief – which we all know as PEPFAR – has provided crucial technical support and life-saving drugs to help people with HIV to know their status and receive treatment.

The U.S. has provided more than 258 million dollars, or 7.2 billion hryvnas to provide this support to Ukraine.

And in the past few years, we’ve seen some great progress.

To improve the quality and availability of HIV services, the Ukrainian Ministry of Health adopted World Health Organization standards for HIV treatment and care.  That’s a huge breakthrough.

We’ve recently begun the construction of a new HIV/AIDS National Reference Laboratory and the U.S. helped launch the National HIV Medical Information System.

Even with all these efforts, on a day like today, we still need to remember that much work remains.

As was just said, more people need to be tested.  And those who are diagnosed need to have access to life-saving medications and need to continue their treatment regimens.

Those three steps will save hundreds, if not thousands of lives in Ukraine.  And that requires your help.

Поговоріть зі своїми друзями, рідними, колегами. [Talk to your friends, family members, and co-workers.]

Дуже   важливо   донести   до   людей:   треба   знати   свій   ВІ́Л – статус   і   перевірятися   регулярно. [It is crucial to get the message out: Know your HIV status and get tested regularly.]

Дуже дякую. [Thank you very much.]