A- A A+

Sustaining HIV services for people who use drugs in Odesa

Odesa is a major Black Sea port, with a substantial drug use. In the 1990s, Odesa saw the outbreak of HIV infection in Ukraine. But more recently it has successfully developed one of the world’s most effective systems of harm reduction services for people who use drugs. The system is funded by the state and local budgets and implemented jointly with non-governmental and community organizations. Odesa was one of the first cities in Eastern Europe and Central Asia that signed the Paris Declaration. Last year, it reported a reduction of new HIV cases among people who use drugs.

Natalia Kitsenko is head of the public health department of the Road to Home Foundation, one of Odesa’s oldest organizations providing services to people who use drugs. UNAIDS spoke with her about how her organization has been managing to continue to help people in need, even during this war. (UNAIDS, 22.04.2022)