AIDS Foundation East-West (AFEW) has developed a system of replication, which adapts successful international HIV programmes, based on best practices which are then adapted to the local conditions in other countries across the region. Currently, AFEW carries out programmes in Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, and Ukraine.
Simultaneously, AFEW develops additional programmes that address issues specific to the region related to HIV in the fields of prevention, treatment, care and support to people living with HIV (PLHIV) as they arise.
Harm reduction methodologies
Whilst there is no universally accepted definition of harm reduction, it generally refers to policies, strategies and programmes that seek to limit the health risks of (injecting) drug use, wherever such risks may be eliminated. Harm reduction methods are recognised as successful strategies by international agencies such as the World Health Organisation and UNAIDS in responding to HIV. AFEW’s training activities, which rely upon harm reduction methodologies, focus on assisting local partners to expand their services to include needle and/or syringe exchanges, the distribution of condoms, specific health information and referral services for medical, drug and/or substitution treatment and social support. Many of AFEW’s activities rely upon and include harm reduction strategies as a programme component.
At AFEW, we firmly believe that each and every individual has the right to access information and services on the basis of their need. To this end, services must be grounded in the principles of equity, accessibility, affordability, comprehensiveness and sustainability. In support of the United Nations’ tenets of universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, AFEW’s programme activities:
- Focus on vulnerable groups that are usually beyond the purview of traditional models of service delivery. As such, AFEW interventions take a pro-active approach in addressing equitable access to care.
- Engage in continual improvement and innovation to ensure activities increase the accessibility of quality information and services (through, for example, client management, community outreach, and peer education).
- Identify and respond to gaps in the provision of services to strengthen and ensure a comprehensive package of services for people living with or at risk of HIV infection.
- Address issues of sustainability by building the coping capacity of people and institutions to prevent new infections and assist individuals already living with HIV in accessing quality treatment and care in a way that preserves their dignity and enhances their ability to cope.