Development of service standards on HIV prevention and treatment

Over the past decades, access to the HIV prevention and care service for injecting drug users has improved in the Central Asian countries. However, the poor quality of service and unfavorable tendencies of generalization of the epidemic, such as the increasing rate of sexual transmission of HIV and HVB transmission through drug injection among males, are still the subjects for concern.  Standardization of HIV-related services through the development and updating of the national guidelines and protocols/instructions/manuals/orders as well as the introduction of a complex/integrated service package are the priority areas in solving foregoing problems.

The UNODC project "Effective HIV prevention and care among vulnerable groups in Central Asia and Eastern Europe" funded by US government through CDC/PEPFAR, USAID and OFID/OPEC is currently providing technical assistance in the development and modernization of service standards on HIV prevention and treatment for drug users.

Within the framework of this project, a regional tool (set of checklists) for public health service and social protection for drug users has been developed. This tool focuses on the HIV prevention and care and covers all levels of public health services from low-threshold services to specialized ones which are based on WHO/ UN documents. A multi-disciplinary national expert group used this tool while working on the standardization of the regulatory/protocol field in public health and social protection for target groups of the population.

In turn, the Technical Working Group on HIV prevention among injecting drug users led by UNODC has actively participated in reviewing and discussing the prepared materials for low-threshold services (syringes exchange program and Trust Points). After that, the materials were submitted to the National AIDS Center/Ministry of Health for further consideration and integration into the national documents and standards