World AIDS Day: Lyashko talked about the prevalence in Ukraine and free therapy
Friday, December 1, marks World HIV/AIDS Day. Currently, more than 158 thousand cases of HIV infection and almost 49 thousand cases of AIDS have been diagnosed in Ukraine.
This was announced by Health Minister Viktor Lyashko. He noted that last year alone, AIDS claimed 630,000 lives worldwide.
At the same time, more than 1 million people became infected with HIV. The danger is that during the first weeks, months or even years, HIV has no symptoms. Meanwhile, the virus slowly destroys the human immune system, which transmits it.
That is why, as Lyashko emphasized, it is important to get tested for HIV periodically. Moreover, it takes no more than 15 minutes.
"Currently, more than 158 thousand cases of HIV infection and almost 49 thousand cases of AIDS have been diagnosed in Ukraine, of which more than 9 thousand cases of HIV and almost 3 thousand cases of AIDS were registered in 2023. The figure may be different, because, unfortunately, most people do not take regular rapid tests, and every third person with HIV does not know about their diagnosis," he said.
At the same time, the Minister noted that a positive HIV test is no longer a sentence. Antiretroviral therapy helps to keep the virus under control.
The minister added that antiretroviral therapy is free of charge - the medicines can be obtained at healthcare facilities in your community.
"The main thing is to know your HIV status to start therapy in time and prevent the development of AIDS and transmission of the virus to others. ARVs must be taken continuously and systematically because, without daily suppression with drugs, the virus will start multiplying again and become resistant to the drugs of the previous treatment regimen," Lyashko summarized.
As OBOZ.UA previously reported, scientists have successfully tested the drug cabotegravir, which works as a short-term vaccine against HIV.