01 mar 2022

Joint statement regarding the situation in Ukraine, from Board Members of the Nordic HIV Organizations; Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark:

Given the sad situation in Ukraine, the five Nordic patient organizations for people living with HIV unified in HIV-Nordic, emphasizes the urgent need to address awareness on an expected increase in difficulties upholding HIV treatment for people living with HIV in Ukraine and for refugees.

In the near future, it is certain, that people affected by the war, will run out of medicine and serious consequences can affect the entire European continent. In danger of compromising the important task of HIV prevention strategies, provided by healthcare authorities all over Europe, we now face serious challenges.

To secure access to HIV treatment for people affected by the war, the Ministries of Health, and health providers of the Nordic countries should do everything possible to secure necessary HIV treatment for refugees expected to seek asylum in the Nordic region. It is also urgent to begin every action possible to provide vital treatment for people left behind in Ukraine affected by the Russian invasion.

Access to HIV treatment through the regular channels for the estimated 260.000 Ukrainian people living with HIV [i] will fall dramatically within a few weeks because of the Russian invasion. Reports from the International Red Cross, as well as other humanitarian organizations, indicate that people in Ukraine are already experiencing severe difficulties in accessing medicines.

The five Nordic patient organizations for people living with HIV; HIV-Iceland, HIV-Sweden, HivNorway, HivFinland and HIV-Denmark encourage those in charge, to act immediately.

[i] UNAIDS 2020; https://www.unaids.org/sites/default/files/media_asset/JC3032_AIDS_Data_book_2021_En.pdf