The regional program “Health can be bought if you have a budget” is carried out with the support of the Robert Carr Foundation.

Goal of the project

People living with HIV (PLHIV), men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender people, and people who use drugs (PWUD), as well as their allies in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) region, will have an impact on resource mobilization for an effective and sustainable response to HIV.

Donor

Robert Carr civil society Networks Fund (RCNF)

The period of project implementation

Years 2016–2018

Countries covered by the project

Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Estonia

Expected results:

As a result of the project it is expected that representatives of PLHIV and other key communities will be able to monitor the budget and advocate for HIV services to ensure a continuum of services. The aim of the project and the expected results are in line with the principles developed at the regional consultation on the transition and sustainability of HIV and tuberculosis programs. In particular, one of the nine principles states that key groups should be at the center of the transition efforts being undertaken and play a leading role in them.

Another important result of the project will be the development of communication and partnership both within key communities and between them, as well as effective advocacy with governments, technical agencies, and donors, for which organizations of PLHIV and other communities will be provided with the necessary tools and experience. The project will provide community organizations with the necessary potential, knowledge, authority for meaningful involvement in resource mobilization, and accountability.

Primary activities:

Within the framework of the project, during the first year, investment in and services for PLHIV, PWUD, MSM and transgender people, as well as adolescents, will be assessed. Evaluation of these services will help to identify the priority for each target group, for the support of which it is necessary to conduct budgetary advocacy.

An investment assessment will be conducted to calculate the costs incurred and to plan financing needs, which will help communities operate on facts and reliable data in budgetary negotiations.

The results obtained will be used for subsequent advocacy of strategic, sufficient and sustainable investments in responding to the HIV epidemic that will meet the needs of PLHIV, adolescents, PWUD, MSM and transgender people.

The regional program “Partnership for Equal Access to HIV-Related Services in the EECA Region for All Who Need It” is supported by the Global Fund

The goal and objectives of the regional program “Partnership for Equal Access to HIV-Related Services in Eastern Europe and Central Asia”, developed by ECUO (Eastern European and Central Asian Union of People Living with HIV) in partnership with EHRA (Eurasian Harm Reduction Association) and with the technical support provided by WHO and UNAIDS were discussed in a series of regional consultations and were supported by a broad range of stakeholders, including representatives of the Country Coordinating Mechanisms and the key affected populations (KAP) from Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA).

Donor

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

The period of project implementation

November 2015 – October 2018

Expected results:

As a result of the implementation of the ECUO regional program, the Partnership for Equal Access to HIV Services is expected to improve the effectiveness, availability and sustainability of HIV treatment programs through promoting continuous HIV care for people living with HIV, with a special focus on KAPs in EECA countries.

The goals and objectives of the project are expected to be achieved through activities on both regional and national level aimed at overcoming barriers to access to the continuum of HIV-related services, and facilitating the transition to sustainable public funding for the provision of continuous HIV care.

The efforts of different communities — people who use drugs, sex workers, men who have sex with men, people affected by tuberculosis and HIV — being combined into a single movement to provide access to a continuum of HIV-related services makes this regional program unique.

Community capacity-building within the framework of the program will be implemented through the use of the “learning through action” approach.

In general, the project covers 15 countries in the EECA region. Seven countries — Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Uzbekistan and Estonia — will have the opportunity to participate in an open competition for the development and implementation of national plans to overcome barriers to sustainable and quality access to the continuum of HIV-related services.

ECUO’s regional program “Partnership for Equal Access to HIV Services” implies close cooperation and interaction between communities, relevant ministries, agencies and institutions, international and national organizations, and technical partners, so that everyone in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region has access to HIV-related services.

The HIV peer counseling service in the Ida-Viru region is carried out with the support of the National Institute for Health Development

The goal of peer counseling: Helping people living with HIV and their loved ones in resolving the problems and emotional experiences associated with HIV infection, based on the knowledge and experience of peer consultants. A peer consultant conducts counseling, both individually and in group form, in addition to case management and working with infectious diseases in the Ida-Viru region.

Counseling is aimed at people living with HIV in a crisis situation and unable to cope with psychosocial problems on their own.

A peer consultant is a person living with HIV who has reached the age of 18, has completed counseling courses totaling no less than 16 hours, and has earned a diploma confirming this.

Description of the consulting services:

All forms of peer counseling provide help based on examples from personal experience in accepting one’s diagnosis and oneself as a full-fledged person, worthy of a normal life. Many people with an HIV diagnosis experience fears of disclosure of their health status, loneliness, uselessness, as inexperience and ignorance of their illness and its treatment can lead to serious consequences, such as isolation, denial of the disease, and unwillingness to be treated. The work of a peer consultant on HIV includes both individual and group counseling, and close cooperation with workers of infectious diseases departments, such as a nurse, a social worker, a doctor, and a psychologist.

The service covers the following areas:

  • Individual peer counseling in the Ida-Viru region, for people living with HIV and their loved ones;
  • Group peer counseling in the Ida-Viru region, for people living with HIV and their loved ones;
  • Case management and cooperation with infectious diseases departments in the Ida-Viru County;
  • Phone and online counseling for people living with HIV and their loved ones.

Case management and cooperation with infectious diseases departments

The work of a peer HIV consultant includes not only proper counseling, but also work on adherence, seeking out lost clients, escorting and bringing them to treatment, delivery of ARV therapy, as well as assistance to doctors and social workers, according to the needs of each individual case. A peer consultant cooperates with the infectious diseases departments of the Ida-Viru region.

The project “Improving the quality of life of children from families affected by HIV” is implemented with the support of the Tallinn Social Department

This project aims to improve the quality of life of children living in families affected by HIV infection by increasing parental competence in a situation where it is necessary to inform the child about a serious non-curable disease.

Goals of the project:

  1. To prepare parents for informing their child of their medical status (fulfillment of their obligation);
  2. To reduce the possibility of a destructive experience for the child, resulting from receiving this information;
  3. To prevent infection by ignorance;
  4. To prevent the child from experiencing acute reactions associated with a sudden death in the family.

Tasks of the project:

  • To expand the parent’s understanding of the psychological processes associated with experiences in a situation of change;
  • To expand the communication skills for explaining situations which are difficult for the parent;
  • To provide the skills needed to differentiate the experiences of the parent from the experiences of the child;
  • To develop a mentally healthy position for a parent regarding their medical status;
  • To provide the parents with the psychological resources necessary for an honest dialogue with the child regarding the disease.

Activities within the scope of the project:

The main activities of the project are informational lectures, group psychological therapy and individual counseling. This approach will teach family members affected by HIV to impart and receive important, but difficult information between family members while maintaining safety and trust. Information that is imparted to a child in a safe atmosphere can help the child cope with discrimination and stigma on the part of society.

Group psychotherapy is aimed at strengthening the resources of parents living with the status of an incurable disease.

Individual psychological work is aimed at building interpersonal relationships in the family that allow for healthy integration of information.