In 2020, the fourth wave of research on stigma and discrimination against PLHIV was held in Ukraine. The study was conducted using the international methodology “PLHIV Stigma Index,” which was developed in 2005 by a number of international organizations (GNP+, ICW, IPPF, UNAIDS). In 2018, it was refined under the auspices of the UN Population Council and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), after which it was called the PLHIV Stigma Index 2.0.

This study, like the three previous waves of the Stigma Index in Ukraine (2010, 2013 and 2016), was conducted by AC “Socioconsulting” together with CO “100% Life” (previously – ACO “All-Ukrainian Network of PLHIV”).

During the study the following data collection methods were used.

1) Structured face-to-face interviews with PLHIV using tablets. The sample type was representative, proportional, quota based on regions, types of settlements, proportions of PLHIV who actively treat HIV infection and PLHIV who avoid HIV treatment, gender and age, as well as proportions of representatives of key groups. A total of 2,301 respondents were interviewed.

2) In-depth interviews with PLHIV using the “life stories” method. A total of 26 in-depth interviews were conducted.

At the study we analyzed the prevalence of stigmatization and discrimination against PLHIV in different spheres of life: healthcare, relations with the social environment, employment and occupation, as well as manifestations of self-stigma and self-discrimination, respect for confidentiality of information on HIV status, the prevalence of human rights violations and willingness to protect them, etc.

Compared with previous waves of the Stigma Index, this study was characterized by an intersectional approach. Unlike previous waves of the study, which focused exclusively on the manifestations of stigma and discrimination in relation to HIV status, the Stigma Index 2020 for the first time studied the experience of stigma and discrimination against PLHIV due to their belonging to key groups: drug users, sex workers, MSM.

On November 27, 2020, there was an online presentation of the results of the study using the Zoom online platform. International and Ukrainian experts, representatives of the PLHIV community, employees of the regional offices of 100% Life and representatives of other stakeholders took part in the presentation.