It is estimated that 1.32 million people are living with HIV in the Russian Federation[i]. As of 2012, more than 75000,000 people are officially registered as HIV positive. About 14025,000[ii] of them are receiving antiretroviral therapy. The government provides antiretroviral treatment (ART) free of charge. Unfortunately, about half a million of Russian citizens do not know that they are HIV positive and can infect others. As a result, every day an average of 200150[iii] people in Russia become HIV positive[iv].
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has been supporting projects in Russia since 2009. These projects are designed to deliver rapid and easily accessible HIV testing for the population and adequate medical care for HIV positive people (foremost – the diagnosis and treatment of HIV) in public institutions.
Free, anonymous, reliable and mobile rapid testing helps people learn their HIV status, and to take necessary actions to protect themselves and loved ones. Testing events serve for prevention and public education on the ways of disease transmission. They also provide an opportunity to get barrier contraceptives, informational materials, psychological and social assistance for free.
Project staff, which includes doctors, nurses, peer counselors, social workers and psychologists aims to assist those who are in need of help. All projects are based on a team approach, where several experts work with one person and his\her case to identify comprehensive solutions to the problems. This approach allows clients to receive all the necessary assistance in the fastest time.
AHF’s activity is mainly focused on the financial support of testing and effective models of testing, treatment, care and support for HIV positive people. As one of our most important tasks we consider assistance is to assist in measures, as taken by the President and the Government of the Russian Federation and aimed to fight to address the HIV epidemic in Russia.
The activities of the Foundation are well understood by the regional authorities. Evidence of this is the fact that some of the projects, which had been initiated by our partners with the financial support of AHF and demonstrated good results, have been since taken up by governmental budgets, and their continued implementation no longer requires financial support from AHF.
The highest officials in the country have acknowledged AHF’s work on national and international levels. AHF’s Global Ambassador, Dr. Jorge Saavedra, was invited with a group of other representatives of the civil society to a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the framework of Russia’s chairing of the G-20.
[i] According to the Federal Scientific and Methodological Center for AIDS Prevention and Control
[ii] According to the Ministry of Health of Russian Federation
[iii] According to the Ministry of Health of Russian Federation (http://www.rosminzdrav.ru/news/2013/11/29/1-dekabrya-vsemirnyy-den-borby-so-spidom)