Natalia Tyunyagina, the regional representative of the Positive Women NGO, Kherson, Ukraine. 

“When the war started, my child and I managed to go to a village near Kherson and it just so happened that we found ourselves under occupation. The city of Kherson is also cordoned off by Russian Federation troops.

We are on the edge of a humanitarian crisis here. Food supplies are almost exhausted, and there are no vital medicines in the pharmacies. Since the enemy has surrounded our region from all sides, the delivery of humanitarian aid is impossible. Our women have no personal hygiene products, our children have no diapers.  Remote villages are completely cut off from society. There is no electricity, no water, and no gas. The shops are empty. Almost every night we sleep in the basement because explosions and gunfire can be heard from everywhere.

Before the war I worked with HIV positive women and I still try to keep in touch with them. Women in remote villages talk about the lack of food and medicines. The ARVs that are vital for them are either already running out, or there are leftovers for a couple of weeks. There are now risks not only to women’s health but also to children’s health – the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV is increased because mothers can not get baby food.  Sometimes they get medication which is transferred in cars carrying bread. But these are isolated cases. To help the women right now, we need specific amounts of money. And then we will have the opportunity to buy medicines and other necessary things on the spot”.

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