December 1, 2023, 14:05

To prevent progression and transmission of HIV infection, it is important to get timely tested for it 

According to the Center for Public Health, about 257 thousand people are living with HIV in Ukraine. However, only 69% of HIV-positive person are aware of their status and can control their disease. The rest, almost a third, continue to endanger themselves and expose those around them out of ignorance to threats.

At the same time, 2–3 people die of AIDS in Ukraine every day, and 1500–2000 people diagnosed with AIDS die every year.

These data were presented by Yaroslava Lopatina, Country Program Director for AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) in Ukraine, at a briefing at the Media Center Ukraine – Ukrinform dedicated to World AIDS Day.

In particular, she noted that in order to detect HIV infection and prevent its spread, it is important to undergo the necessary testing. Currently, it is possible to take quick and painless diagnostic testing that confirms the presence of HIV or suspicion of HIV infection.

“Once upon a time, HIV testing used to be performed only on blood from a vein, and people waited two weeks or maybe two months for the result. Now it is a rapid test. The lab test, when blood is taken from a vein, is used only for pregnant women and for donors. Nowadays, a finger prick blood test is used, and there is no need to be afraid of it because it is as accurate as the laboratory one. The blood from your fingertip drips and is collected in the sample container, a test kit, and in 15 minutes the result is ready. Thus, you can find out whether you have HIV or suspected HIV infection or not. It’s fast, it’s confidential, it’s painless,” emphasized Yaroslava Lopatina. 

She also added that while testing for HIV, you can be tested for three additional infections at the same time—hepatitis B, C, and syphilis.

“You don’t need to do anything extra, you just have to come and give blood from your finger, nowadays, they use disposable lancets, a person doesn’t notice that his finger has been punctured, and in 15 minutes you can also receive a diagnosis,” she added.

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