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Impact of transition on public health in Ukraine

A case study of the HIV/AIDS epidemic

Ukraine has the highest per capita prevalence of HIV infection within Europe 1.4%. This poses a serious threat to the region's social and economic stability. Ukraine is geographically the largest country in Europe, apart from the Russian Federation. Economic growth year on year started in 2000, following a decade of recession during "transition" after the collapse of the Soviet Union (1989) and Ukrainian independence (1991). At current rates of growth, pre-transition levels of prosperity will not be reached until 2016.

The impact of transition on public health is difficult to correlate precisely with socioeconomic and political change. The inability to manage the spread of HIV is one example of the way Ukraine's health system has been adversely affected by transition. HIV/AIDS is relatively new to the country, appearing in the mid-1990s, rising dramatically between 1995 and 2002, and continuing to rise at exponential rates. The transmission route for infection was originally injecting drug use, mainly in young men, but infection is now spreading via unprotected heterosexual sex.

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March 26, 2007 | Category:


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