The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol


Reaching Out to "Outcasts" in Ukraine's Prisons: A Photo Essay

April 16, 2014

The Penitentiary Initiative, a long-term GMT Initiative partner, based in Nikolaev, Ukraine, provides HIV outreach and social support in seven prisons in the Ukraine. Outreach workers visit each prison once or twice a month to work with three types of inmates: General inmates who are involved in an HIV prevention program, those living openly with HIV, and those deemed "outcasts" because of their real or perceived GMT sexual orientation. Outcasts are relegated to the worst jobs in the prison, targeted for physical and sexual abuse, and frequently humiliated.

The Penitentiary Initiative provides all three groups with psychosocial support, HIV/AIDS education, self-confidence training, career training, and a safe place to gather and talk. It also trains the participants to provide HIV outreach to inmates who are not part of the program. With support from amfAR, The Penitentiary Initiative developed a manual that is guiding Ministry of Justice employees as they work to implement similar programs in other Ukrainian prisons. These are some of the participants from two of the prisons where the organization works, Colony 53 and Colony 93.

Photos and interviews by Chris Vail.

More From This Resource Center

Undetectable Viral Load and HIV Prevention: What Do Gay and Bi Men Need to Know?

Do HIV-Negative Gay Men Need Condoms if They're on PrEP? Here's What I Tell My Patients

This article was provided by amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. Visit amfAR's website to find out more about their activities and publications.
See Also
More on HIV/AIDS in Ukraine

No comments have been made.

Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:

Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:


The content on this page is free of advertiser influence and was produced by our editorial team. See our advertising policy.