Natasha - She is a social worker for MSF, who counsels pregnant women with HIV. She introduced me to her co-workers and others who assist people with HIV/AIDS. Natasha, a former intravenous drug user, is also HIV positive. Several times she spoke of how she contracted the virus and the "two or three years she has left." She rarely seemed upset and appeared to have come to terms with life and death long before we had met. It always pained me to hear her talk in such a manner. She is a friend, young and full of hope and compassion, who is likely to die by the age of 27.

Medication that fights HIV/AIDS is unavailable to people in Ukraine. It costs far too much. Of the almost 400,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Ukraine, only fifty individuals receive Triple Therapy Treatment, the common mixture of drugs used in the west. People in Ukraine cannot afford such medication. She once said, "Joseph, if we need anything here in Ukraine, it is medication for people with HIV and AIDS, to keep them, and us, alive."


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