Wearing sacks over their heads to suggest an execution, protesters in Ukraine have argued that without government funding people with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and hepatitis are condemned to death.
Funds allocated for treatment of the diseases have not yet been released this year.
Volodymyr Zhovtyak from the Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS fears what the epidemic of viral diseases means for his country.
“These viral diseases are not only killing our country’s present, but they’re killing our country’s future,” he said.
One Kiev resident with hepatitis despairs for her own situation.
“I have no money to pay for this. I do tests, visit doctors and all they can offer is just some supportive treatment.”
In contrast, African countries like Rwanda and Botswana supply 80 per cent of their HIV infected population with treatment. With one of the highest HIV infection rates in Europe, the government has agreed to finance measures to prevent the spread of the disease. Though this will be little cheer to those needing treatment now.