Poland Faces Surge of HIV Amid Ukrainian Refugee Influx

Polish doctors have sounded the alarm as the country's medical infrastructure seems to be under severe pressure amid a spike of new HIV cases; the situation has been worsened by lack of testing kits for the disease.

By the end of October, 1,910 new cases of HIV were detected in Poland. From January to July this year 1,056 cases of infection were recorded, compared to 561 case in year 2021. Polish media have called these statistics alarming.

Some of these new infections have been linked to the Ukrainian refugee influx. According to the data provided via the International Congress on Drug Therapy in HIV Infection, one in six people receiving anti-HIV therapy in Poland right now is from Ukraine.

Doctors and medical experts argue that Poland does not have the necessary medical infrastructure needed to treat that many HIV sufferers. Ukraine has roughly 260,000 people with HIV while Poland has only 26,500. Moreover, Poland has only 17 Antiretroviral Therapy centers in major cities compared to Ukraine, where around 390 ART centers are spread all over the country.

To make things even worse, the ART combination pill taken by the majority of Ukrainian who carry the virus is not available in Poland: 77% of them take “TLD” – a combination of drugs, including generic one. As a member of European Union, Poland can not legally use generics.

According to the UN High Commission for Refugees, Poland have received around 1.4 million refugees since the start of the Special Military Operation. In total, around 7.5 million citizens have left Ukraine between February 24 and October 4.

You can read this article as it originally appears at Sputnik here.

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