HIV Testing Week in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan Reached Over 1200 People
During the HIV testing week that was held in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan between November 23-28, AIDS Foundation East-West (AFEW) and its local partners reached 1249 people with voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) as well as with information about HIV prevention and treatment. The testing week was held in the framework of UNODC-funded project Get Information, Get Tested, Get Treatment! and was focused mainly on people who use drugs and prisoners. The goal of the project was to increase the number of people that are aware of their HIV status, decrease cases of late diagnosis and contribute to timely prescription of treatment.
- 1000 rapid HIV tests purchased;
- 898 people went through voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) on seven sites: male and female colonies in Almaty region and five rehabilitation centers Teen Challenge for people who use drugs in Almaty;
- No positive HIV cases revealed; all people tested know their HIV status and have basic information about prevention;
- Rehab clients received motivational packages;
- Round-table held with key partners: Almaty City AIDS Center, Department of Corrections of Almaty, Almaty Narcological Center for medical and social correction and Public organization Doverie Plus, which provided HIV counselors. Partners noted the effectiveness of joining forces and including community members in this work. Sustainability of these activities and their expansion was desired. One of the proposals was to conduct such testing more often, and also for Hepatitis.
- 351 people who use drugs went through voluntary counseling and express testing; joint teams of outreach workers and peer counselors of NGOs as well as doctors of AIDS centers were available for VCT in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe and the city of Kulob;
- 15 people were tested positive and referred to AIDS centers for additional laboratory examination;
- All people received brochures with information about HIV;
- Testing results were presented and discussed at a working group meeting with key stakeholders, representing government and public organizations that work in HIV prevention and client management of key populations. Working group participants noted good interaction between outreach teams of public organizations and VCT unites of AIDS centers and agreed that such practice should take place on a regular basis.
AIDS Foundation East-West in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan are two independent public organisations that work to assist in the implementation of programs aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles, sanitation and hygiene and protecting public health; reducing the impact of infectious diseases among key populations. Both organizations are members of AFEW Network headquartered in the Netherlands.