On January 20, 2017 in Almaty, the Kazakhstan Union of People Living with HIV (OYL) within the framework of the USAID “IPEU” / PEPFAR program on the project “Access to rapid HIV testing on the basis of NGOs in Kazakhstan”, implemented by UzSE “KazSoyuz PLHIV” held a working meeting to discuss issues of access to rapid HIV testing on the basis of NGOs in Kazakhstan.
The purpose of this meeting is to unite the efforts of government agencies, international organizations and the civil sector in developing a unified strategy and vision for the introduction of rapid HIV testing services by NGOs.
At the meeting, a draft of a methodical manual is presented, which includes an algorithm for conducting HIV counseling and testing using rapid tests on the basis of NGOs.
“Today in Kazakhstan there is no legal basis for the introduction of rapid HIV testing on the basis of NGOs. And this is the resource that can significantly increase the coverage of those tested for HIV. Now in the countries of Europe and Central Asia, on average, every third person living with HIV is unaware of their status, and every second HIV-positive person is diagnosed late, “said Nurali Amanzholov, President of ULA” Kazakhstan Union of People Living with HIV “.
“In the rapid HIV testing, the main role should be played by the non-governmental sector. Thanks to the activities of public organizations, testing among vulnerable groups of the population will increase, which will undoubtedly positively affect the effectiveness of the use of financial resources and the epidemiological situation as a whole, “Baurzhan Bayserkin, Director General of the Republican Center for AIDS Prevention and Control believes.
In many regions of the Republic, NGOs are actively working, which implement projects to assist and support groups at high risk of HIV infection. HIV testing is one of the key factors in the effectiveness of these projects. Therefore, the availability of this service on the basis of these organizations will help not only to increase the coverage of HIV tested, but will also improve the quality of projects being implemented.
Representatives of the Ministry of Healthcare of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republican Center for AIDS Prevention and Control, international organizations (ICAP, CDC, PSI, CIGTCA, UNAIDS) and NGOs took part in the working meeting.