Successful AHF debut at the Eurovision 2017 in Kyiv

 

AHF Ukraine conducted HIV, hepatitis and syphilis testing in 4 sites in Eurovision fan zones. During the 10 days (4–13 May) of work of the fan zones on Poshtova, Kontraktova, Sofiivska and Troitska squares in the capital, Eurovision guests had an opportunity to undergo free testing, receive consultations on prevention and safe sexual behavior, as well as to receive free condoms.

Acting Minister of Health of Ukraine Ulyana Suprun also supported the AHF initiative: “Ukraine is ready to take on the responsibility for preserving the health of its citizens. We understand the importance of prevention as the most effective way to a healthy nation. Today, HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted diseases are a real challenge for the country’s public health system. And all of these diseases can be easily prevented by following simple prevention rules, such as use of condoms and regular testing,” acting Minister of Health of Ukraine noted.

On May 12, the director of the Department of Culture of the Kyiv City State Administration, Diana Popova, took part in a press briefing held by AHF, who, in particular, noted: “Kyiv is a unique place. It is a city with a thousand-year history, which undoubtedly has its own soul, exceptional character and unique mosaic of its own identity. Every resident of our city and its guests are unique pieces of this mosaic. That is why it is my belief that it is extremely important to take care of everyone’s health and safety. Unfortunately, today HIV and sexually transmitted diseases pose a significant threat to the public health of the city and the country as a whole. In order to protect yourselves and your nearest and dearest, it’s enough to follow the simplest means of preventing the infection transmission – use condoms, regularly undergo testing and, if necessary, timely start treatment.”

Activists and volunteers of AHF Ukraine also carried out an exciting flash mob in order to draw attention of Eurovision guests and the media to the problem of HIV/AIDS. People of different age, nationality, sexual orientation, and persons with disabilities became the participants of the flash mob and created a symbolic necklace, a symbol of Eurovision in Ukraine. In such a way the organizers proclaimed that “we are all so different, but, at the same time, we are all alike in the face of the HIV epidemic”. That is why it is extremely important to use condoms and to undergo regular HIV testing in order to know your status. After all, more than 60% of cases of infection occur precisely because of unprotected sex.

24 trained AHF counselors and 250 volunteers were working in the 4 Eurovision fan zones and distributed information materials in Kyiv.

Special attention was paid to informing students, therefore informational materials were distributed in many universities of the city. Additionally, information materials were also distributed through 18 city information centers, 2 of which are located at airports.

AHF mobile testing sites, distributed more than 30,000 condoms, 4,625 tests were performed, 29 cases of HIV infection were detected, more than 20,000 consultations were conducted, and more than 200,000 copies of information materials were distributed. In addition to Ukrainian citizens, guests from 37 countries of the world got tested for HIV.