According to official data, the Sverdlovsk Region is among the leaders in the number of HIV-positive people in Russia. Today, more than 102,000 people diagnosed with HIV infection are registered in the Sverdlovsk Region.
The Social Project “To Live”, a non-profit organisation, is the only organisation in Ekaterinburg whose team has been working on HIV/STI prevention for over 10 years.
The organization serves the needs of key populations from 2018. From that moment it has encountered aggression from citizens who tried to enter the centre with a baseball bat. The need to strengthen the centre’s security was the basis of the organisation’s application to the Emergency Support Fund for Key Populations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
“We wanted to keep an important service in Ekaterinburg that allows people vulnerable to HIV to receive services in a friendly and comfortable environment. Thanks to ESF, we solved the issues of client safety during visits to our centre. We installed metal doors and an entrance control system, and replaced the entrance area with a warmer one. Thanks to this, being in the centre is now much more comfortable and, most importantly, safe!”Ivan Sadikhov, project leader
Emergency Support Fund for Key Populations in the EECA region (ESF), led by AFEW International and Aidsfonds since 2018, strived for a comprehensive response to emergencies threatening HIV service provision for key populations in the EECA region and supported activities ranging from advocacy and prevention to treatment and care in terms of HIV and co-infections. Since its start, ESF has received about 600 applications from 10 countries in EECA: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, of which over 230 were funded. For many organisations this support mechanism helped to overcome funding gaps and ensure continuity in emergency situations, especially in the countries where space for civil society initiatives continues to shrink due to local legislation changes. In the past year, many of the applications received and approved by the Fund committee were closely related to the needs emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic.