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Friday, November 18, 2011

Sir Elton John and Elena Pinchuk, Founder of the ANTIAIDS Foundation, at press conference.

 KIEV, Ukraine, November 9, 2011.   Sir Elton John, along with several trustees of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Olga Rudneva, Executive Director of the Elena Pinchuk ANTIAIDS Foundation, met with clients of HealthRight’s Service Center for Women and Girls in Kiev, Ukraine.  Sir Elton spoke with homeless and HIV-positive girls and women – many of whom have young children – about their hopes and their fears, as well as the progress they are making toward a brighter future with the help of programs operated by HealthRight and its local partners. 

Sir Elton praised HealthRight’s work in Kiev with extremely vulnerable girls and women, saying "nobody, no one should have to live like this, especially women with children who have no place to go to.  Now, with this Center, they have medical treatment, they have scans, they have psychological help, they have someone to talk to, they have somewhere to go."

HealthRight launched the Service Center for Women and Girls in April 2010, together with the Kiev City Center of Social Services.  The Service Center serves at-risk girls and women living or spending much of their time on the street, delivering critical psychological, psychosocial, legal and basic medical support, and facilitating access to complex healthcare.  Since the start of the program, HealthRight has engaged over 500 girls and young women in case management, and tested nearly 300 for HIV, with 22% testing HIV-positive.  Despite facing constant stigma, extremely unstable living conditions, and immense barriers to care, these girls and women are determined to improve their lives.  With support from Healthright and its local partners, they are taking control of their lives, learning to advocate for themselves, and making a better life for their children.

This program is made possible by the generous support of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which is supported by Elena Pinchuk’s ANTIAIDS Foundation.