Enhancing Access to HIV Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support Services for Highly Vulnerable Populations in Central Asia
Central Asian AIDS Project (CAAP)
AIDS Foundation East-West (AFEW)
1 July 2008—1 January 2010
The Central Asian Republics have not been as hard hit by the HIV epidemic when compared with Eastern Europe. However, given their location along the drug trafficking routes between Asia and Western Europe, there is cause for concern, and new cases continue to rise across the region. As of the end of 2008, in the four Central Asian Republics (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) where AFEW currently carries out programme activities, 28 177 individuals have been officially registered as living with HIV, with experts putting the real figure close to 50 000 cases.
In some regions, prevalence rates among those most vulnerable to HIV—that is, prisoners, sex workers, and/or injecting drug users—have been found to exceed 5%.
Because AFEW aims to take advantage of the window of opportunity left open and halt the spread of HIV before it takes hold in the region, we have initiated a regional project to provide HIV-related services to those most in need: Enhancing Access to HIV Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support Services for Highly Vulnerable Groups in Central Asia. Through this 18-month initiative, AFEW seeks to mitigate the impact of HIV among specific populations in the Central Asian Republics through the introduction of a client management system. This system relies on an integrated, patient-centred approach to providing a wide-range of health, psycho-social, legal, HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services for vulnerable groups.
AFEW’s focus will be on building professional capacity among local agencies and providers through the following activities:
- Set up and development of 7 social bureaus and support for HIV client management services together with an active referral network;
- Delivery of training sessions, materials and technical assistance on HIV client management and the active referral of services;
- Set up of and support for 7 training resource centre at 18 municipal / regional AIDS centres;
- Development and delivery of capacity building training seminars for service providers and community representatives from specific target groups;
- Development and distribution of educational and informational materials for service providers and vulnerable groups; and
- Development of and support for national teams of trainers on HIV client management issues.
AFEW will be further able to strengthen and entrench all of these activities through the provision of on-going support and technical assistance to project partners and local-level counterparts through site visits.
As a result of these activities, AFEW expects that the establishment of a referral network of service providers will lead to a 50% success rate for all referrals made by client managers by the end of the first year of the project, increasing to a 75% success rate for all referrals by the end of the project. Furthermore, knowledge and awareness amongst service providers who receive training through this project will increase.