Peer-Driven Interventions for IDUs started in Latvia and Lithuania
In February 2010, pilot peer-driven interventions (PDI) were started in 11 cities in Latvia and 6 cities in Lithuania. The aim of the new initiative is to access and educate injecting drug users (IDUs) who have never been clients of harm reduction programmes. IDUs will be offered opportunity to earn rewards for serving as educators and recruiters. Recruiters will be trained to educate their IDU-peers in a body of prevention information. Their success in teaching recruits will be measured in a standardized manner by an 8-item knowledge test administered by the staff of harm reduction programmes. Staff will also conduct a structured interview to collect data about risk behaviours among IDUs. The new initiative is based on methodology introduced by experts from International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine. The pilot project will last till August 2010 and is expected to recruit more than 1000 new IDUs in Latvia and about 500 IDUs in Lithuania.
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