Anton Basenko

Meet our speaker, Anton (Ukraine)

Anton Basenko poses for a portrait in an area known for being used by injection drug users on Friday, November 20, 2015 in Kiev, Ukraine.

We need the Global Fund: Anton’s story

Perspectives: person living with HIV (PLHIV); hepatitis C; harm reduction; people who use drugs (PUDs); Eastern Europe & Central Asia

Languages : Ukrainian (native), Russian (native), English (intermediate)

Story (en Français)

Anton was 14 when he started using drugs and 16 when he began injecting himself. Anton describes himself over the 11 years he was using drugs as an “ordinary street junkie”: he had regular conflicts with law enforcement, persistent health issues, and no job, home, or family.

After many failed attempts at getting clean, in 2003 Anton joined a Global Fund-financed harm reduction programme, thanks to which he found out he was HIV and hepatitis C positive. In 2004, Anton became one of the first patients of Global Fund-financed opioid substitution therapy in Ukraine.

“It is important for us to continue to save lives and to continue the global fight against HIV and tuberculosis (TB) throughout the world, but for this we need money. […] These are just numbers, but human lives are behind these numbers and it is very important for people like me, because my life was also saved by the Global Fund.”

It was then that he saw his life turn around. In 2005, Anton started antiretroviral therapy (ART), and in 2017 he was cured of hepatitis C.

Now, Anton is married and has become a father, and is an ardent advocate on behalf of people living with HIV (PLHIV) and people who use drugs (PUD).

Download Anton’s complete bio

Ukraine has received funding from the Global Fund since 2003 for HIV and TB/HIV programs. Approximately 136,000 people annually are currently on ART under its programs, and 28,000 people are treated for tuberculosis in the Ukraine every year.

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Anton in the news:

Interview with Anton Basenko (Alliance Against AIDS Germany, 6 December 2019)

Internationaler Tag der Menschenrechte 2019 / Aktionsbündnis gegen AIDS veröffentlicht Videos zu HIV und Menschenrechten (FinanzNachrichten.de, 6 December 2019)

Civil society calls on governments to fully fund Global Fund and save millions of lives (TB Europe Coalition, 15 February 2019)

“Harm reduction programmes, such as opioid substitution therapy, are ‘entry point to a new life’ for many people using drugs.” (Medicines Patent Pool, 29 November 2018)

Global effort to eradicate tuberculosis, the infectious disease that burdens Ukraine, still has long way to go (Kyiv Post, 21 October 2018)

Leaving No One Behind: The Rights and Health of the Most Vulnerable – Side-event at the High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS (watch at 55:30 in the video below):

Images of Anton:

GFAN report quote
Anton graphic 2