The United States government through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is taking decisive steps to reach Ukrainians in need with life-saving HIV medications and services amid the humanitarian crisis caused by the Kremlin’s war on Ukraine. Over the past two months, PEPFAR has invested a total of US $13 million in emergency funding to procure 51 million doses of antiretroviral medications (ARVs), enough to meet the urgent treatment needs of Ukrainians living with HIV for up to a year.
PEPFAR delivered an initial 18 million doses of the ARV tenofovir, lamivudine, and dolutegravir (TLD) on April 7. These medications are already being rapidly distributed to people living with HIV across Ukraine. PEPFAR subsequently procured an additional tranche of more than five million courses of treatment of TLD and other ARVs that are expected to reach Lviv by the end of April. On April 13, PEPFAR authorized its third and largest procurement of ARVs to date, with more than 28 million more doses of treatment to meet Ukraine’s request for PEPFAR to provide a 12-month supply of life-saving ARVs for the country.
“In this time of crisis caused by Russia’s war on Ukraine, PEPFAR is taking life-saving action to support Ukrainians living with HIV,” said Dr. Angeli Achrekar, Acting U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy. “Through our remarkable and resilient local partners and staff, who are working in the most challenging of conditions, we are helping ensure that Ukrainians across the country can continue to access life-saving HIV medications and services.”
PEPFAR’s efforts are being closely coordinated with the Government of Ukraine’s Public Health Center and other partners, including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, and the World Health Organization. PEPFAR implementing agencies, including the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, continue to play vital roles in the procurement, delivery, and distributions of these medications. PEPFAR is partnering with 100% Life, Ukraine’s largest patient-led organization for people living with HIV, to ensure these life-saving medicines are safely distributed within Ukraine based upon need and logistical feasibility.
PEPFAR is a longstanding partner in Ukraine’s HIV response. Since 2007, PEPFAR has invested over US $320 million to support life-saving HIV prevention and treatment services as well as health systems strengthening efforts in Ukraine. Before Russia’s war against Ukraine, an estimated 260,000 people were living with HIV in Ukraine, approximately 152,000 of whom were accessing ARVs.