Project in Uzbekistan

Name of the project: Expansion and improvement of HIV prevention services, among key populations in Uzbekistan

Countries: Uzbekistan|| Duration: May 2021- April 2023 || Donor: the Elton John AIDS Foundation

AFEW International,  in partnership with a local partner NGO “ISHONCH VA HAYOT” (a community based membership NGO uniting key populations), launched a 2-year project “Expansion and improvement of HIV services in Uzbekistan”.

The project will address existing gap in the access of KPs to testing and relevant HIV services.  Through the rapid HIV testing system developed by the community and the subsequent social follow-up of clients to the health facility, clients will be linked to ARV treatment in a timely manner.

Community-based HIV self-testing has been effectively implemented in many EECA countries for several years. However, for Tashkent, this approach is new and has not yet been reflected in the national HIV protocol. The project “Expansion and improvement of HIV prevention services, among key populations (KP) in Uzbekistan” aims to assist the Republican AIDS Centre of Uzbekistan in adapting the new WHO recommendations on the provision of HIV testing services.

AFEW International will provide technical support to local partners in Uzbekistan to ensure better coverage of key populations in HIV testing services, and better treatment adherence of those tested positive for HIV.

The project also focuses on the development of a key partner NGO ISHONCH VA HAYOT* through a thoroughly planned capacity building program, based on the assessment of the organizational needs.

The main project activities are:

  • Training of the outreach workers on assisted self-testing and HIV prevention information;
  • Establishment of a monitoring system to evaluate the quality of outreach workers and peer educators.
  • Strengthening of the interaction with AIDS Centre nurses to improve treatment adherence.
  • Organising assisted self-testing for key populations in Tashkent city and connecting identified HIV-positive people with the AIDS Centre.
  • AIDS Center and Outreach workers collaboration on returning lost to treatment patients (those who were earlier tested positive and registered with the AIDS Centre but did not return to checkup and ART).
  • Establishment of a pilot Social Support Centre for KP to provide psycho-social and legal support and ensure adherence to ART among KP.

*NGO ISHONCH VA HAYOT– is an Uzbek NGO, which mission is to unite, comprehensively support people living with HIV, improve the quality of their lives, fight against stigma and discrimination, and actively participate in overcoming the development of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Uzbekistan.