UNODC handed over a vehicle for provision of mobile harm reduction services in Almaty

On 22 February 2023, the ’Almaty model for HIV epidemic control (AMEC) project partners’ forum took place with the support of UNODC Programme Office in Kazakhstan.

The AMEC project is being implemented within the framework of RADIAN – a ground-breaking global initiative of the Elton John AIDS Foundation that aims to address new HIV infections and deaths from AIDS-related illnesses in the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia through focused action, investment and resourcing to improve the quality of prevention and care for people at risk of or living with HIV in the region. 

Almaty was selected as one of the ‘Model Cities’ where investments are made in targeted interventions that deliver measurable impact across the HIV care cascade in eligible cities and regions, as examples for other cities and regions in EECA seeking to end their own HIV epidemics.

Representatives of the Public Healthcare Department of the Almaty Mayor’s office, the Mental Health Centre of Almaty city, AIDS Centre of Almaty city, the Heads of Almaty-based NGOs providing services to people living with HIV, UNAIDS, UNDP, ICAP, Elton John AIDS Foundation, mass media discussed and presented various initiatives on HIV prevention, treatment, and care, such as the new pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) programme to combat the high prevalence of HIV in the city, an online self-test service – the website, a shelter for women who use drugs and women living with HIV.

Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia, handed over a vehicle for provision of harm reduction services in mobile format to the ‘Revanche’ Public Foundation, the Almaty-based non-governmental institution providing services to people who use drugs, people living with HIV and people in prisons and a shelter to women living with HIV and women who use drugs. In her speech, Ms. Mittal emphasized the importance of active contribution, exchange of practice and development of strong partnerships at all levels to address effective HIV and drug related issues and wished all Forum participants the best of luck and success in addressing the HIV and drug related issues and making Almaty a true ‘model city’.

The vehicle was procured by UNODC Programme Office in Kazakhstan with the generous support from UNAIDS and will be used as a pilot mobile clinic in Almaty, providing psychosocial support, HIV-testing, mini-trainings on COVID-19, overdose prevention, HIV prevention, etc. for the representatives of key populations, including the most vulnerable – women living with HIV, women who use drugs and sex workers.