Bishkek – On February 8-9, physicians who work with people living with HIV are participating in a two-day training on ways to work effectively and compassionately with this vulnerable group. The 31 participants from Bishkek, Osh, and Chui oblast will discuss approaches to reducing discrimination against and improving services for their patients with HIV. This training is financed by the United States through USAID.
The training will focus on the special needs of people living with HIV, anti-retroviral therapy, and myths surrounding the disease. According to one of the trainers, Yevgeniya Kalinichenko, such efforts improve access to treatment by reducing the stigma sometimes associated with HIV and people in high-risk groups. Because people living with HIV often fear discrimination when seeking medical care, many avoid contact with medical providers, which in turn worsens their health condition, causes psychological and social problems, and increases the risk of further transmission. Also, many people living with HIV go to primary health care facilities that are not specialized in HIV, which only compounds the challenges.
With the support of the United States through USAID, the Central Asian Association of People Living with HIV has been leading this project since April 2014 in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.