ECOM is strengthening advocacy for access to HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) services in Central Asia. In April, a resource center for PrEP was launched in Almaty, which will become a platform for the exchange of experience and the transfer of best practices between countries within the region.
On April 4-8, the first exchange of experience in Kazakhstan took place, in which 12 people from non-governmental organizations of Kyrgyzstan took part. ECOM Coordinator for LGBT Health Nikolay Lunchenkov conducted a two-day training for participants on chemsex. This is the first such initiative, since organizations have not previously conducted trainings on such topics. During the training, Nikolay told how to work with MSM clients who use drugs, and how to promote better integration of customer data into the PrEP service.
"The Resource Center is an initiative that contributes to the mobilization and support of the community within the region, with minimal interference "from outside". This is a platform where people from Central Asian countries can exchange experiences and adopt best practices, taking into account the regional context. In the future, we plan to continue such events and conduct a similar website-visit for participants from Tajikistan. In addition, to provide advisory support and supervision to the team from Kyrgyzstan," said Nikolay Lunchenkov ECOM's coordinator for the health of LGBT people.
Also in Kazakhstan, participants from Bishkek and Osh visited the Community Friends organization. During the site visit, the participants learned how to work with clients under the PrEP, got acquainted with the process of recruiting people into the program and the procedure for building customer routing. In addition, colleagues from Kyrgyzstan visited the AIDS center in Almaty, where the PrEP office is located. There, the participants of the exchange program were told about the work of medical staff with clients, how index testing works and much more.
The Resource Center is an initiative created by ECOM and partner organizations in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, within the framework of the Positive Action program with the support of ViiV Healthcare.