HIV-activism in a Post-socialist State: The Case of Ukraine
Keywords:civil society, HIV-activism, health policy, Ukraine
AbstractDrawing on archival materials, in-depth qualitative interviews with current and former HIVactivists, and participant observation at HIV prevention organizations in Ukraine, I sketch the history and recent activities of HIV-activists organizations. The research allowed me to identify the role of civil society organizations in health policy processes, practices and types of HIV-activism, and challenges for this activism’s development. The paper shows that major transformations have occurred in both service provision and policy practices, including the introduction of the national and regional coordination councils. These councils enforce the horizontal level of public policy, as well as changing the public’s opinion regarding HIV-positive people and the measures to combat HIV. The international organizations and their beneficiaries in Ukraine are the main challengers to existing practices and the driving forces for changes in public health policy and the strengthening of participatory approaches.
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