HIV prevention, treatment and care among vulnerable groups of population: Inter-sectoral cooperation in Uzbekistan

4 May 2019, Tashkent - The Secretariat of Interagency Advisory Council on ensuring close collaboration and coordination with international and foreign organizations in the field of combating spread of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria and attracting donor funds to conduct activities (hereinafter - IAC), the "Intilish" NGO in conjunction with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Regional Office for Central Asia (UNODC ROCA), held a Roundtable on the "Creation of Favourable Conditions for the effective implementation of the programmes on HIV prevention among vulnerable groups of population".

Two important materials - prepared with the technical assistance of UNODC - were presented at the Roundtable, i.e. the "Analytical Review of the Legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Human Rights in the Context of HIV/AIDS" , developed jointly with the National Human Rights Centre of the Republic of Uzbekistan; and the adapted "Manual (Guidelines) for civil society institutions providing HIV prevention services to people who use drugs: Improving collaboration and joint work with law enforcement officials" .

The first document draws particular attention to the shaping of an adequate perception of people with HIV-positive status, protection of the rights of children and women in the context of HIV/AIDS, as well as the social nature of HIV prevention among people who inject drugs. While the developed Guidelines are based on the UNODC international standards emphasizing the importance of the work of the NGOs with law enforcement agencies on the issue of interest, the need for professional training for NGO staff and implementing appropriate standards for implementing HIV prevention programmes among key populations was also identified.

"The documents presented, discussed and disseminated today, will help the NGO staff and specialists to be better prepared for work with law-enforcement agencies and make our cooperation more effective and safe for our clients on HIV prevention among vulnerable groups of population. Similarly, we are going to conduct internal information sessions to familiarize our staff with these documents", - mentioned Ms. Victoriya Ashirova, representative of the "Ishonch va Khayot" NGO. 

More than 30 employees of non-governmental non-profit organizations, representatives of health and social services, working directly with key populations, took part in the Roundtable and discussed HIV prevention strategies through inter-sectoral cooperation and coordination of actions.

UNODC supports the Government of Uzbekistan by promoting modern international approaches and standards of HIV prevention and treatment, ensuring access for people who use drugs to essential medical care through evidence-based comprehensive programmes, as well as respect for human rights, reduction of stigma and discrimination. The event was organized within the framework of Sub-Programme 3 "Drug Prevention, Treatment and Reintegration and HIV Prevention" of the UNODC Programme for Central Asia (2015-2019) with the support of the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan and UNAIDS (UBRAF).