The study was conducted within the projectRESPECT:”Reducing HIV-related Stigma and Discrimination for Most at Risk Population in Health Care Facilities in Ukraine,” which was implemented by the All-Ukrainian Network of PLWHwith the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). It was designed to collect systematic, documented data on the level, prevalence, and manifestations of multiple stigma and discrimination faced by HIV-positive people at most at-risk populations (MARP).The results of this study were used to improve the service/activities within the RESPECT project to more actively include and retain PLHIV in the cascade of treatment, care, and support services.

The study focused on the manifestations of multiple stigmas in the medical field, other issues, and restrictions that hinder the access of MARP and PLHIV to medical services, in particular their involvement in the HIV services cascade.

Quantitative and qualitative sociological methods were used to collect data.

The quantitative study component was in the form of a survey of target groups via standardized”face-to-face”interviews.A total of 1,340 respondents were interviewed, representing four target groups:

  1. persons amongMARP for HIV infection (hereinafter HIV+MARP+).
  2. MARP (hereinafter HIV+MARP-).
  3. persons amongMARP (hereinafter HIV-MARP+).
  4. MARP (hereinafter HIV-MARP).

Sample type: a quota representative sample for each of the target groups of the study.Quotas were based on the available information per each of the MARP survey. They were determined in such a way as to avoid systematic sampling errors (shifting towards a particular subgroup of respondents)and to ensure data comparability between different target groups within the study.

The HIV-positive respondents (both those belonging/not belonging to MARP) were recruited by the regionaloffices of CO”All-Ukrainian Network of PLWH”; the HIV-negative respondents among MARP (PUID, CSW, MSM) were recruited by HIV service NGOs that implementharm reduction programs. The HIV-negative respondents who do not belong to the MARP were conducted near the exit from medical institutions (PHC facilities and inpatient departments).

The results of the quantitative component of the study are supplemented by qualitative datamaterials of 12 in-depth interviews by the method of “life stories.” They were carried out with HIV-positive respondents belonging to MARP.