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On January 22 - 24, 2008, the first National Conference dedicated to Civil SocietyТs Role in HIV/AIDS Response in the Russian Federation is held in Moscow to discuss successful experience, problems and prospects in this area.

The Conference brought together over 200 people, including representatives from public authorities, foreign and Russian non-commercial organisations, the PLWH community, experts, research officers, journalists, etc.. The Conference was held to show the role of civil society in improving the effectiveness of response to the HIV epidemic in the Russian Federation, and to outline prospects for cooperation among civil society, government and business.

During the plenary session, the conference organisers, representatives of the PLWH community and non-commercial organisations reported about progress in their activities, lessons learnt and plans. The plenary session was followed with work in small groups to discuss issues which should be addressed to achieve the national goal of ensuring universal access for the following populations:

Х youth and children;
Х prisoners;
Х people living with HIV/AIDS;
Х drug users;
Х women living with HIV (their health and gender rights).

On January 23, 2008, I. Varentsov, Program Coordinator from the Russian Health Care Foundation, told the audience about the progress of the Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Ц Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations and its prospects. On January 24, 2008, the Conference will be concluded with adoption of its resolution and position papers.


On January 15 - 17, 2008, the Yekaterinburg AIDS Centre delivered a seminar to train nurses in pre-and post-testing counselling.

The additional training of nurses was necessitated by an annually increasing number of patients visiting the AIDS Centre, and inability of physicians to cope with such a great flow of patients which is accounted for by many factors:

Х increased awareness of HIV/AIDS owing to mass-scale education and information campaigns in mass media in 2007;
Х new opportunities to treat HIV under the National Priority Health Project and the Global Fund Project: now, people have a hope; and the public attitude to HIV/AIDS has changed;
Х on-going projects in the region under both its Targeted Program and the Global Fund Program; these projects include patient involvement, treatment adherence stimulation; and outreach activities;
Х improved infrastructure and equipment of the AIDS Centre: the Global Fund grant was used to procure needed equipment which helped to build up the capacity of laboratory specialists in the Centre.

The shift of pre-testing counselling to nurses would reduce the pressure on physicians (infectionists), so, primary patients would be given more attention and time.

[Centr AIDS] (132 kb)


On January 16 - 17, 2008, the Moscow Oblast Research Centre (in Nakhabino) is hosting a Seminar dedicated to the jntroduction of a database of harm reduction program clients, under the Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Ц Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations for its participants of Year 1 and 2.

The seminar is held to familiarise its participants with the introduced database of harm reduction program clients belonging to such risk groups as injecting drug users and commercial sex workers. This database would help to improve monitoring of all harm reduction projects for IDUs and outreach projects for CSWs implemented in the Russian Federation under the Global Fund Programs.

It is intended to introduce the unified database under the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Round Global Fund Projects providing support for harm reduction activities.

The seminar was opened by Yulia Brodskaya, Program Coordinator from the Russian Health Care Foundation. She also presented indicators and primary documents for harm reduction project monitoring.


In the Kaliningrad Oblast, the National Priority Project provides antiviral treatment to 44 HIV-positive patients, including 34 children.

According to the regional Ministry of Health, most of the patients in the region (623 persons) are treated under the 4th Round Program of the Global Fund.

So, in the Kaliningrad Oblast, antiretroviral treatment is provided to 667 ¬»„HIV-positive patients, i.e. to 92.5% of those in need of it.


The Irkutsk Oblast Department of the Russian Red Cross Society may be left without its premises. Last June, the Territorial Department under the Federal Agency of Federal Assets Management for the Irkutsk Oblast received a certificate of the ownership right to the building which homes the Red Cross, and filed a suit to the Arbitration Court to withdraw the building from the Red Cross. According to Marina Akulova, Chairperson of the Irkutsk Oblast Department of the Russian Red Cross, the arbitration process is scheduled for January 16, 2008. In addition, she says that the Territorial Department of the Federal Agency of Federal Assets Management demands that the Red Cross should pay the rent for the past three years (since 2004).

At the same time, the arbitration court is reviewing a suit concerning the ownership right to the Irkutsk Red Cross building from the Irkutsk City Committee for Municipal Assets Management (CMAM). Marina Akulova says that the CMAM deems it inappropriate to pass the building of the Red Cross into the ownership of the Territorial Department of the Federal Agency of Federal Assets Management. She notes that the CMAM management assures that if the building is passed into the management of the City, it will be made available for use to the Irkutsk Red Cross.

The building was divested from the health sector and made available for use to the Irkutsk Department of the Russian Red Cross in 1972. According to Marina Akulova, many a year, the Irkutsk Red Cross has been insisting on passing the building into its gratuitous use for an indefinite period based on the Federal Law on Culture Heritage Sites. Now, should the building be withdrawn by arbitration ruling, the Irkutsk Red Cross shall have to close its socially important programs, including those implemented as part of the National Priority Health Project, to terminate the Red Cross activities in the Irkutsk Oblast and to fire about 60 employers involved in these socially important programs.

As of today, the Irkutsk Red Cross implements 18 charity programs, including such projects financed by the Russian Health Care Foundation as those to provide access to health services and information for CSWs through outreach activities, to provide palliative care to people living with HIV/AIDS, to provide psychosocial care to HIV-infected children with a focus on orphans, to operate a reference-centre for those who work with children born of HIV-infected mothers (prevention, treatment and social support).


On December 18, 2007, the Rostov-on-the-Don hosted a meeting of civil society organisations involved in HIV/AIDS prevention. The meeting was convened at the initiative of the Sparta Foundation which helps drug-addicted youth and is implementing a project aimed at developing direct non-medical services for people living with HIV/AIDS in the Rostov Oblast financed by the Russian Health Care Foundation.

The meeting considered possibilities to create a single information and service space to consolidate efforts of separate organisations and improve their performance. Each of such organisations strives to establish long-term strategic partnerships, and consolidation of their efforts and capacities is the most productive and economically justified way to attain this goal. In view of this, the meeting participants outlined the following objectives for 2008:

Х to joint efforts of public sector health institutions and civil society to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS;
Х to provide integrated medical and psychosocial care to chemically addicted people living with HIV/AIDS;
Х to provide psychological support to their relatives;
Х to inform the PLWHA community about the expanding range of available services;
Х to disseminate information about available non-medical services for PLWHA released from prison.


On December 10 - 14, 2007, the 4th Meeting of the HIV/AIDS Technological Network was convened in Rio-de-Janeiro (Brazil) to discuss the Development of ARV Generics (Synthesis and Formulation).

The Conference brought together representatives from different countries, including China, the Argentine, Brazil, Portugal, Cuba and the Ukraine.

The Russian Federation participated in such a meeting for the first time and was represented by a group of specialists from the Russian Health Care Foundation (M. Shegai, Program Coordinator), Moscow Medical Academy named after Sechenov (M. Narkevich), and the MOHSD (N. Kostenko).

The meeting discussed ARV manufacture in countries which have no patents for manufacturing such pharmaceuticals, but have capacities to produce tablets domestically which would significantly reduce the production costs of these expensive drugs.

[Participant] (159 kb)


The Ryazan Oblast Administration entered into an agreement with the Russian Health Care Foundation to participate in the Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Ц Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation financed by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria.

Under this agreement, the Oblast will receive antiretroviral drugs, laboratory equipment and test-systems. The Program will also support certain prevention activities and outreach services for the most vulnerable social groups (injection drug users, commercial sex-workers and men having sexual contacts with men), training in HIV/AIDS treatment, care and support for HIV-infected patients and other activities.


On December 11-12, 2007, a conference was held in Moscow under the HIV/AIDS Dialogue between the EU and Russia. The Conference was organised as part of the HIV/AIDS Control and Prevention Project (Phase II) implemented by the World Health Organisation in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Development of the Russian Federation in four pilot Russian regions with high levels of HIV/AIDS prevalence (the Leningrad, Irkutsk, Kaliningrad Oblasts and the Krasnodar Kray), as well as in St-Petersburg. Three of these regions, at the same time, participate in the Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Ц Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations.

The Conference was convened to discuss the most relevant issues of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in Russia and to share experience.

Mr. D. Goliaev, Project Director, Russian Health Care Foundation, reported about the progress under the Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Ц Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation.

[D. Goliaev] (130 kb)
[Participant] (179 kb)


The Volgograd Oblast Administration held the 2nd meeting of its Interagency Committee for Social and Demographic Policies. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Yu. Sizov, First Deputy Governor of the Volgograd Oblast. This Committee consists of Deputy Governors, Chairs of the Committees, Directors of the Departments responsible for social welfare and officials from the Federal State Statistics ServiceТs Territorial Body for the Volgograd Oblast.

During the meeting, A. Filippov, First Deputy Chairman of the Oblast Health Committee, Chair of the Oblast Working Group for the implementation of the Global FundТs Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Ц Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations, presented a report titled Social and Demographic Impact of HIV in the Volgograd Oblast.

In 2007, the Russian Health Care Foundation supplied the Volgograd Oblast AIDS and Communicable Disease Control Centre with antiretroviral drugs worth of over Rub. 43 million, through the Global FundТs Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Ц Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations. This amount of pharmaceuticals is sufficient to treat 871 patients. All in all 1,011 HIV-patients are under ARV therapy, in the Volgograd Oblast.

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