Olena: Street Involved Youth in Kiev, Ukraine

Olena

After graduating from university, Olena found a job and rented a house in Kiev. However, a violent conflict with her mother sent her on a downward spiral, during which she lost her job, struggled to pay her rent and found herself in situations where she was at risk for HIV and hepatitis.  Olena sought care at the HealthRight drop-in center where she received free HIV testing and counseling. She began to meet regularly with the drop-in center psychologist and also enrolled in the empowerment training program for women who have experienced violence. Over time, she began to feel more emotionally stable. When the military conflict erupted in eastern Ukraine, Olena felt motivated to make a positive difference. She joined the Ukrainian voluntary army and became a medical assistant in the Luhansk region. She returns to the clinic on her days off to visit her counselors and friends.