EATG » Analytical report: Human rights of women living with HIV in Ukraine

Analytical report: Human rights of women living with HIV in Ukraine

The Eurasian Women’s Network on AIDS released an analytical report, Human rights of women living with HIV in Ukraine, based on data collected by HIV-positive women in 10 regions of Ukraine, including survey, documented cases and policy review.

Main recommendations:

  1. Provide effective mechanisms to protect the personal data of women living with HIV.
  2. Remove or resolve existing contradictions in the MOH regulations that violate the human rights of HIV-positive women – the right to motherhood, reproductive rights, the right to adopt a child and the right to protection against discrimination.
  3. Ensure the application of latest WHO guidelines on the sexual and reproductive health of women living with HIV and the recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, in particular, in the context of breastfeeding, prevention of breast cancer, and cervical cancer. Ensure appropriate collection of statistical information.
  4. Provide effective mechanisms for women living with HIV to have access to justice in the event of denial of healthcare services, neglect, overpriced services, referral to “specialized” institutions, etc.
  5. Develop and implement mechanisms to ensure the public monitoring of the rights of women living with HIV by involving women themselves in relevant councils, advisory bodies, committees, etc.

According to a study:

– Approximately every tenth respondent (9.1%) is convinced that in case of a violation of her rights as a woman living with HIV, she will not receive the necessary legal protection, and 23.8% of women do not know if they can count on legal support.

– 41% of respondents do not know their rights and do not know where to file their complaints against actions of health workers if their rights are violated in medical institutions.

– Almost one in five women living with HIV (19%) do not believe that health care workers do not disclose their HIV status or any other details without their consent, and another 22% do not know if this is happening.

– Despite universal access to ARV treatment and prevention of vertical transmission of HIV, around a quarter of women with HIV from the selected ten regions have a fear of infecting their unborn child.

– 31.4% of women tested for HIV during pregnancy did not consider it voluntary.

– Only 15.6% of women have (40.2% do not know whether or not they have, 44.2% do not) access to free or affordable abortion and just 11.1% have access to quality post abortion and miscarriage care.

Aspects that have a major impact on women living with HIV in ensuring their access to quality health and social services and well-being are as follows:

* Cost of services in the places at point of delivery – 61.5%

* Cost of travel to access services – 55%

* Lack of family support – 41%

* Economic dependence on partner(s)/family members – 26.4%

* HIV-related stigma and discrimination in the workplace – 21%

* The cost of pre-school education, babysitter, and kindergarten – 21%

* Cost and burden of care for other family members – 17%

* Divorce, widowhood, or separation – 15.2%

* Discrimination in the workplace due to sex, age or the presence (absence) of children – 13%

* Unequal inheritance and property rights – 9.3%


Download the report here.