On December 9, 2018, in the framework of National Human Rights NONconference 2018 the thematic workshop “Why HIV/AIDS Epidemic is not Contained Yet? All About Discrimination of People Living with HIV” took place. The workshop was organized by the Human Rights Agenda Platform and Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union.
The human rights activists, experts, journalists, civil society activists, lawyers, representatives of the authorities, international organizations were invited to participate in the workshop.
The following issues were discussed at the workshop:
Priority tasks for overcoming the consequences of the HIV infection in Ukraine.
Right to privacy as a guarantee of protection against PLWH discrimination.
How Ukrainian legislation stigmatize people with HIV.
The issues of securing the right to the medical care in the detention centers and penitentiary establishments of Ukraine in the conditions of reform. Why discrimination of vulnerable to HIV infection groups fosters epidemic spread in prisons.
Key speakers and presentations:
Vitaliy Zakharchuk, Senior Specialist of the Innovations Department of the 100% of Life Network – Presentation “Ukraine as the second highest HIV/AIDS burden country in Eastern Europe. Approaching the achievement of UNAIDS Global Objectives 90-90-90”;
Oleksandr Pavlichenko, UHHRU Executive Director – Presentation “Information on the health status and medical secrecy. Confidentiality of information and its protection in the cases of patients with HIV”.
Olena Semyorkina, UHHRU Expert – Presentation “Right to family life. UHHRU advocacy initiatives”;
Oleksandr Gatiyatullin, Head of Ukraine Without Torture NGO – Presentation “The issues of securing the right to medical care in the detention centers and penitentiary establishments of Ukraine in the conditions of reform. Why discrimination of the vulnerable to HIV infection groups fosters epidemic spread in prisons”;
Oleg Duka, Head of the Professional Training Center of the State Criminal Executive Service of Ukraine of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine – Presentation “HIV prevention in the detention facilities”.
Moderator – Maxym Petrov (UHHRU).
Workshop findings and recommendations
Discrimination and stigmatization of people living with HIV, and groups vulnerable to HIV are the key barriers to the effective HIV prevention, treatment and support of people with HIV/AIDS.
Discrimination and stigmatization of HIV-positive people are often conditioned by their affiliation with certain social group: imprisoned, injecting drug users, commercial sex workers, LGBT representatives.
Protection of the rights of the HIV positive people and representatives of the groups vulnerable to HIV is important not only for those people, but is beneficial for the public health in general.
Each fact of discrimination of the individuals on the grounds of the status presence shall be investigated and the reasons shall be eliminated.
Strengthen personal data protection at the institutional level, consider the issue of introducing the information commissioner. Strengthen the current institute under the Human Rights Ombudsman in the Ukrainian Parliament.
Ensure non-disclosure of the status of HIV positive persons through publicizing the information in the Register of Judgements.
Provide PLWH and groups vulnerable to HIV access to timely free (if required) professional legal support.
Put the regulations of the MOH of Ukraine in compliance with Ukrainian legislation and international standards for protection of human rights of people living with HIV, rights to family and parenthood, access of women living with HIV to assisted reproductive technologies (order of the MOH of Ukraine from 11.2004 No 579; Order of the MOH of Ukraine from 20.08.2008 No 479 and other MOH Orders).
Recommendations regarding securing the right to medical assistance in the detention centers and penitentiary facilities of Ukraine in the conditions of reform:
Complete the reform of the system of the medical aid provision in the penitentiary facilities; staff the positions of the healthcare practitioners.
Conduct training for the involved healthcare practitioners, which do not know the specifics of the penitentiary system, and in particular the orders of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine regarding compliance with the epidemic control status, running the checks of disciplinary cells, ward type rooms etc.
Accelerate the transfer of the medicines, equipment and inventory from the balance sheets of the penitentiary establishments and pre-trial detention centers to the balance sheets of the State Institution “Healthcare Center of the State Criminal Executive Service of Ukraine”.
Solve the issue of procuring of the healthcare institutions of the State Institution “Healthcare Center of the State Criminal Executive Service of Ukraine” with own medical transport for transportation of the patients. Existing system, when the order for hospital admission is approved by inter-regional Department for Execution of Sentences and Probation Bodies, complicates the approval for hospital admission in the specialized hospitals, and for that reason the patients are transported through usual prisoners transfer procedure.
Also the thematic training and methodologic complex, developed by Bila-Tserkva Staff Training School of the State Criminal Executive Service of Ukraine, was presented at the workshop:
Educational film “HIV/AIDS Prevention in the Penitentiary Establishments”, and training and methodological manual “Practical Recommendations for the Staff of State Criminal Executive Service of Ukraine regarding HIV Infection/AIDS Prevention”.
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