On April 6 - 8, 2009, a training seminar on HIV/AIDS treatment and HAART adherence for Voronezh Oblast prison health personnel was held under the project in support of improved delivery of antiretroviral treatment in prisons. Support for the training was provided by the Russian Health Care Foundation and the UN Drug and Crime Office.

The training was delivered to physicians and other health workers (feldshers and nurses) working with HIV patients. The trainees included 20 representatives from 10 prison facilities (located in 5 settlements) under the Directorate of the Federal Prison Service for the Voronezh Oblast.

Such training seminars are needed to upgrade professional skills of health workers in the prison system and substantially contribute to arresting the spread of HIV in the penal sector in the region. The knowledge acquired through the training may be used for purposes of raising HIV and associated disease awareness among prisoners and prison staff, informing them of the ways to prevent them in prison and upon release.

By August 2009, the Russian Health Care Foundation will cause over 120 prison health workers to be trained in six Russian regions. Similar training was already delivered in the Saratov, Orenburg and Belgorod Oblasts.


On April 9, 2009, A Time to Live! Talk Show will be filmed in Ivanovo to discuss HIV/AIDS problems. The TV program will bring together top officials from the Ivanovo Oblast Administration, medical specialists, representatives from non-commercial organisations and mass media. The program will be broadcast on April 14, 2009 through the VGTRK GTRK Ivteleradio Channel. It will be hosted by Vladimir Pozner.

Though the Ivanovo Oblast is a participating region of the National Priority Health Project and GF projects which supply sufficient quantities of antiretroviral drugs and test systems for HIV diagnosis to the region and fund projects to prevent HIV/AIDS among vulnerable populations and to establish multi-professional teams to provide support and palliative care to HIV-infected people, the Ivanovo Oblast remain one of the three Russian regions where the HIV growth rates are persistently high.

As reported by the Ivanovo AIDS Centre, as of December 31, 2008, there were 3,594 registered HIV cases in the region.

Why is HIV growing in there? What difficulties are in the way of preventive programs? -- These and other questions related to the complicated situation in the region will be discussed during the talk show.

The Ivanovo talk-show is funded by the Russian Health Care Foundation under the Program: Strategic Response to HIV --- Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations financed by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.


Under the Program: Strategic Response to HIV -- Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation, the Sverdlovsk Oblast AIDS Centre produced and disseminated a DVD disk called Patient School. It is meant for HIV-positive prisoners who are getting ready for (or are under) HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy).

Contents: 1. Life with HIV (a lecture delivered by a social work specialist).
2. What is HAART? (a lecture delivered by an infectionist).
3. Treatment adherence (a lecture delivered by a psychologist).
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes.

”The need to produce such a disk arose because there are many HIV-positive prisoners in the Sverdlovsk Oblast. The Regional AIDS Centre hold seminars for HIV-positive prisoners, and for prison staff to improve treatment adherence, motivate patients to go through regular health checks upon release from prison. Another important constituent of these efforts is aimed at raising the awareness of prison personnel working with HIV-infected people. However, the Regional AIDS Centre cannot cover all patients in need. In addition, any visit to prison requires financial inputs and today, it is not easy to make them. Therefore, we have decided to record lectures of our specialists on a disk to make information about HIV and its treatment available in each prison”, says Galina Gubanova, Head, Social Service, Regional AIDS Centre.

On April 1, 2009, a conference will take place in the Directorate of the Federal Prison Service for the Sverdlovsk Oblast and the Patient School DVD will be presented there. Representatives from each prison will receive a DVD and an HIV prevention and treatment information package.

Note: The HIV prevalence remains very high among prisoners. As of today, there are 3,500 HIV-positive prisoners in the Sverdlovsk Oblast (i.e. 10% of the total number of prisoners), and their number is growing from year to year: 1,884.0 per 100,000 tested people in 2007 and 2,669.0 per 100,000 in 2008. The HIV prevalence among prisoners is 10 times higher than the average regional prevalence rate.


On March 30, 2009, the Joy Family and Children’s Social Care Centre (Yekaterinburg) hosted another seminar for school teachers to consider the specifics of work in schools under the HIV epidemic.

As a reminder, the Joy Family and Children’s Social Care Centre (Yekaterinburg) won a grant to implement a GF-funded project aimed at developing HIV psychological and social care programs for children with a focus on orphans. The project is designated to provide psychological and pedagogical care to families with HIV-positive children.

The project implemented by the Joy Centre includes a series of training seminars for personnel of various schools. The first training seminar was held on January 30, 2009 in municipal kindergarten # 62 in Yekaterinburg.

This time, the training brought together 38 teachers from 3 schools located in one of the city district. They were primary school teachers, teachers of physics, basics of life safety, informatics, and school administrators. As earlier, some teachers had expressed their expectations concerning the seminar, said that they could not imagine how HIV information might be of use in their work. “I work in a primary school. What do I need it for?” said a seminar participant. Some people were sure that they knew everything about HIV and could not learn anything new, so it would be just a waste of their time.

At the beginning of the seminar, Nadezhda Musalnikova, Director, Joy Centre, said that specialists of the Centre were well aware of the importance and relevance of primary prevention of HIV infection, but in recent time, psychological and pedagogical care for HIV-positive children and their families became a more important area for the Centre, because during the recent six months, the Centre had been providing support to families affected with HIV. Currently, it is providing psychological and pedagogical care to 16 HIV-positive children on a permanent basis. It also renders support to their relatives who need psychological care even more than the children.

This information shocked the participants. They had been sure that HIV-positive children were kept in special health facilities and …died.

Then, the training participants learned from the lecture delivered by Galina Gubanova (Specialist, the Sverdlovsk Oblast AIDS Centre and Director, Social Service) that in Russia, each sixth child born of an HIV-infected woman had been born in the Sverdlovsk Oblast. Over 400 children were diagnosed as HIV-positive and some of them already go to kindergartens and schools. Owning to up-to-date methods of treatment, HIV-positive children can live long and active lives. They are in great need of support from and acceptance by their communities. “Stigma and discrimination of HIV-positive people originate primarily from fears generated by mere ‘illiteracy’. We purposefully invited here pedagogues who are far from HIV issues. It is these people who have developed the idea that it is dangerous to communicate with HIV-infected children, that HIV is found only among vulnerable populations” said Nadezhda Musalnikova, Director, Joy Centre.

A very interesting and significant part of the training was a game called Provocative Assertion. Here are some of such assertions to be discussed in small groups under the seminar: (i) HIV-positive children are a special sort of children. They should be taught in specialised institutions by specially trained teachers.
(ii) I must necessarily know the HIV status of the child and his/her parents. It is desirable to mark the status in the journal.

There were real battles in the groups. Opinions differed greatly. The HIV problem turned out to be not so far from the seminar participants as they had thought earlier.

An important outcome of the seminar was that each participant could define his/her role in HIV prevention among young people. Some understood how important it is to start this work among parents of their pupils while they were in a primary school, others decided to deliver a series of lessons for senior-grade children, lectures at parents meetings, still others decided to disseminate the obtained knowledge among colleagues.

But the most important outcome is changed attitude of pedagogues, participating in the seminar, to people and children living with HIV. Concerns of such people became closer to them.

The next seminar is expected to take place on April 3, 2009 to train pedagogues from Kindergarten # 308.


5On March 5, 2009, the UNODC Office hosted a joint meeting of experts from governmental and non-governmental organisations involved in the UNODC project aimed at improving the access to HIV prevention, treatment and care for IDUs and prisoners in the Russian Federation. The meeting was held to share preliminary results of the project evaluation.

The Russian Health Care Foundation is a co-implementing entity of this project in charge of its component designed to improve the knowledge and skills of medical personnel in the prison system through practical training in 6 Russian regions.

The meeting reviewed the progress towards identified objectives related to services provision, identified future activities and worked out recommendations on how to strengthen partnerships with respective governmental entities.

The meeting was attended by A. Goliusov, Chief, HIV/AIDS Surveillance Unit, ROSPOTREBNADZOR, R. Yusufov, Chief, Division of Prison Health Care Research, Research Institute of the Federal Prison Service, A. Schmidt, Director, UNODC Regional Office for Russia and Belarus, I. Ekabsone, Project Coordinator, UNODC, officials from the Ministry of Health and Social Development of the Russian Federation, Project Directors from Voronezh, Irkutsk, Chelyabinsk, M. Semenchenko, Acting Director, UNAIDS Moscow Office, E. Vovk, Acting HIV/AIDS Program Coordinator, WHO, and B. Keiser and D. Kools, independent experts from the Dutch Institute of Mental Health and Addiction (Timbos Institute).


In the opinion of personnel of Municipal Kindergarten # 62 in Yekaterinburg, there is no need to open special kindergartens and groups for children with HIV.

On January 30, 2009, this kindergarten hosted a training seminar held jointly by the Joy Centre of Social Support to the Family and Children and the Sverdlovsk Oblast HIV Prevention and Treatment Centre to highlight specifics of pedagogical work in pre-school institutions under the HIV epidemic.

As a reminder, the seminar was organised by the Joy Centre of Social Support to the Family and Children (Yekaterinburg) under the Program to Provide Psychological and Social Support to HIV-Infected Children with a Focus on Orphans, funded by the Russian Health Care Foundation.

Initially, participants of the training seminar (staff from the kindergarten) had not understood the need and relevance of their participation in this training event:
“We know everything about HIV infection without it…”
“It has nothing to do with us…”
“I shall never work with HIV-positive children…”
Such was their position prior to the seminar.

However, in the course of the training, their attitude drastically changed. Most of the training participants heard for the first time that the Sverdlovsk Oblast was experiencing the HIV epidemic, that everybody without exception was exposed to the risk of infection, that the sexual way of HIV transmission became wide-spread, and that the HIV threat was not any longer confined to vulnerable groups.

A special emphasis was made on children living with HIV. Personnel of children institutions appeared to be afraid of such children thinking that that they posed a threat for other children, for themselves, and in addition, they said that it was very difficult to deal with children “who were to die very soon”.

During the seminar, the administration of the kindergarten decided to have one of the staff (a participant of the training) further trained in the Sverdlovsk Oblast HIV Prevention and Treatment Centre under the training program titled HIV Prevention: To Know in Order to Live with a view to arranging preventive activities for parents visiting the kindergarten.


IN 2008, owing to proactive involvement of the Rostov Oblast Administration and its Ministry of Health in improving the quality of health care, capital repair was completed in the inpatient department of the AIDS Centre to treat HIV, hepatites В and С and other communicable diseases.

Upon completion of the renovation, both medical offices and wards became much more spacious. The department was supplied with up-to-date equipment (an ultrasound device, a new dental machine, two monitors for trace vital functions of patients, an ECG machine, special medical beds, new equipment for the dressing room, etc). Conditions for patients and personnel were significantly improved. Specific HIV treatment was provided to all in need of it.

As of January 1, 2009, over 400 HIV patients were provided with expensive antiretroviral treatment on a free of charge basis under the National Priority Health Project and the Global Fund Project. For convenience of patients, treatment is also provided in big cities (Taganrog, Novocherkassk, Shakhty, Volgodonsk, Krasny Sulin). Health workers from these cities transport needed pharmaceuticals from the Regional AIDS Centre to the policlinics where HIV patients are monitored. Such a treatment arrangement is used only upon consent of a patient. A patient may receive pharmaceuticals directly in the AIDS Centre, if he/she prefers to do so.


In Ivanovo, the House of Hope Charity Foundation for Disease Prevention and Health Care is implementing a HIV non-medical service project funded by the Russian Health Care Foundation. The project organised a New Year party. Staff of the House of Hope Foundation involved volunteers from the mutual aid team who played the roles of various heroes and acted as hosts for the New Year performance for HIV children and their parents. Premises for the party were provided by one of the best restaurants in the city. A similar party was arranged for children under treatment in the Oblast Children TB Dispensary.

The House of Hope Foundation established a mutual aid team not only in Ivanovo, but also in Kimeshma in the Ivanovo Oblast.


On December 10, 2008, the press-club of the RIA NIVOSTI Russian News Agency hosted a roundtable to discussed the newly published the UNDP Report on Life with HIV in Eastern Europe and the CIS (Implications of Social Isolation), which was issued on the occasion of the World AIDS Day in 2008 and the 60th anniversary of signing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (December 10).

Its participants discussed such issues as vulnerability and rights of PLWH in the following three areas: education, healthcare and employment. It was attended by Jeffrey O’Malley, Director, Global HIV/AIDS Program, UNDP, Shombi Sharp, Regional HIV/AIDS Practice Leader Europe and the CIS United Nations Development Programme, A. Goliusov, Head of the HIV/AIDS Division, Rospotrebnadzor, V. Pokrovsky, Director, Federal AIDS Centre, A. Lysenkov, Director, AIDS Ambulance TV Program, people living with HIV, HIV experts, officials from Russian authorities, UN institutions and representatives from civil society organisations.

The Russian Health Care Foundation was represented by M. Shegai and A. Pankratov, Program Managers.


On December 1, 2008, on the occasion of the World AIDS Day, the Primorsky Kray Department of the Russian Red Cross held a roundtable to discuss prospects for provision of non-medical services to PLWH in Vladivostok. The event was part of the program of HIV/AIDS non-medical service development in Vladivostok supported by the Russian Health Care Foundation. It was hosted by the Vladivostok State Medical University.

The roundtable was attended by officials from the Primorsky Kray Administration and Vladivostok City Administration (including their Health Departments, Education and Social Protection Departments, the Department of the Federal Service for Drug Trafficking Control for the Primorsky Kray ), Deputies from the Legislative Assembly and Duma of Vladivostok City, Rector of the Vladivostok Medical University, representatives from the local eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church, NGOs, and the PLWH community (30 people).

G.P. Gorshunova, Deputy Director of the Health Department, and S.A. Sotnichenko, Chief Physician of the Regional AIDS Centre, identified objectives of the event, emphasised their relevance and presented information about the HIV/AIDS situation in the Primorsky Kray. N.A. Ilyina, Chairperson of the Primorsky Kray Department of the Russian Red Cross, told the audience about activities of this organisation to cause non-medical services to be provided to PLWH and their relatives under the project sponsored by the Russian Health Care Foundation. I. Romanova and M. Timofeev, representing the PLWH community, talked about involvement of PLWH into the fight against HIV and provision of non-medical services. Specialists from such health facilities as the AIDS Centre, Regional Narcological Clinic, and Regional Venereal Disease Centre, officials from social protection and education institutions, representatives from the Church, and NGOs identified ways of cooperation between public sector institutions and NGOs to provide social care and psychological support to PLWH. A particular emphasis was made on ways of involving PLWH into joint work, information and religious and ethic awareness activities, activities of the eparchy, operation of the hot-line and establishment of a working group to provide support in addressing HIV/AIDS problems.

The roundtable discussions were summed up and reflected in the adopted resolution.

[Resolution] (32 kb)

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