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The impact of the war in Ukraine on HIV services

09 June 2022
Volume 31 · Issue 11

The war in Ukraine has resulted in the destruction and disruption of health services and logistical supply chains that hundreds of thousands of people living with, and affected by, HIV depend on for survival (UNAIDS, 2022a).

Although the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 did not come as a surprise, its ferocity, blatant disregard of human rights and denial of Ukrainian statehood still appals, even 3 months into the conflict.

The first waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 demonstrated the fragility of health services and facilities in even the most stable and wealthy countries. In the context of war, this fragility is multiplied, and for those fleeing to other countries accessing healthcare can be disruptive and traumatic. As of 16 May 2022, over 6 million people have left the country, many going to neighbouring nations such as Hungary, Moldova, Romania and Slovakia. Moldova has received the most refugees per capita, but Poland has taken the highest number in total, with over 3 million Ukrainian refugees arriving since February 2022 (UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 2022).

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