Hidden HIV epidemic amongst MSM in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Published: January 26, 2009

Hidden HIV epidemic amongst MSM in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Judging by the official statistics, cases of HIV infection amongst men who have sex with men (MSM) in Ukraine, as in much of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, are so rare as to seem scant cause for concern.

“No statistics means no problem,” says Zoryan Kis of the All-Ukrainian Network of PLHIV (People Living with HIV). “The fact that the official numbers are very low is a danger for our work because we know that the epidemic exists but it is hidden.”

But there is no doubt in the minds of health experts and activists that the official figures hugely underestimate the numbers of MSM living with HIV and newly acquiring HIV infection in Ukraine and elsewhere in the Region.

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