HIV React Project Partners Summarized 1 Year Results
On August 17-18 Almaty hosted the regional partner meeting in the framework of HIV React Project to discuss the results and achievements of the project’s first year. The meeting participants included representatives of the donor organisation – the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as NGOs from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan that implement the project: AFEW-Kazakhstan, “Doverie Plus”, “Answer”, AFEW-Kyrgyzstan, Association “Harm Reduction Network” in Kyrgyzstan, AFEW-Tajikistan, “Vita” and “Hayoti Nav”.
During the first day of the meeting partners shared their first year results, achievements and lessons learned:
– From July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015 a total of 4489 prisoners in the three countries were reached with informational mini training sessions on HIV prevention and harm reduction. Among them 490 prisoners enrolled in the Start Plus transitional client management programme;
– 100% of amnestied prisoners in Tajikistan received voluntary consultation and testing (VCT);
– 249 of the released prisoners in Kyrgyzstan were tested for HIV and 263 people tested for tuberculosis;
– 140 prison staff in six Kyrgyzstan’s camps were trained on HIV prevention and harm reduction;
– Series of training sessions were held in Kazakhstan for local NGOs that work in the field of HIV prevention, as well as for medical and non-medical prison staff on motivational interviewing and reduction of stigma and discrimination against people who live with HIV.
The second day was dedicated to planning of activities for the coming year based on specific needs of each country, key populations and the local service providers. In Tajikistan, for example, among other activities, AFEW will continue to provide technical assistance to the working group on health within the Punishment Implementation Department of Tajikistan and work with the local employment centres to seek employment opportunities for the newly released prisoners. In Kazakhstan, AFEW will provide training for prisoners on HIV treatment and adherence to it. Finally, in Kyrgyzstan, AFEW plans to continue supporting the team of 14 social workers that work in prisons, and provide training-of-trainers courses so that in case of personnel change, the remaining social workers could train the new ones.
The meeting was a good opportunity for partners in different countries to meet one another and exchange new ideas, alternative ways to reach common goals.
USAID’s HIV React project works reduce HIV transmission in Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Kazakhstan among key populations in detention and post-detention settings. In the course of two years, the project aims to reach over 10 thousand prisoners in 16 prisons of the three countries, focusing specifically on people who live with HIV and people who use drugs.