Training social workers to prevent HIV in prisons

Bishkek –The AIDS Foundation East-West (AFEW) in the Kyrgyz Republic will hold a workshop on February 10-13, 2015 for 20 social workers from prisons and non-governmental organizations working in HIV prevention in detainment settings and post-release. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is financing the workshop under the HIV React Project.

During the workshop, social workers will learn counseling skills to facilitate the process of social reintegration for former prisoners and help them get adequate social, medical, and legal help. The workshop will also focus on the importance of continued treatment of HIV, tuberculosis, and drug addiction after release from incarceration.

People in prisons are particularly vulnerable to HIV infection due to increased exposure to a range of socially significant diseases, including infections such as HIV, tuberculosis, and hepatitis. In the Kyrgyz Republic, HIV is dozens of times more prevalent in prisons than among the general public. The first months after release from prison are critical for healthcare issues, because newly released individuals face a wide range of social problems – lack of housing, money, ID documents and many others – that make it challenging for former inmates to seek appropriate healthcare.

The USAID HIV React Project is a two-year regional program focused on expanding the comprehensive package of services available to strengthen prison-based HIV prevention, treatment, and care services, with a special focus on people who use intravenous drugs and those living with HIV in detainment settings. Within two years, the project will reach 11,120 prisoners from 16 prisons in eight regions of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. In 2015, the HIV React Project will work in nine different prison facilities in Chui province. The AFEW-Network led by AFEW-Kazakhstan is implementing the project.

For additional information please contact Project Manager Dina Masalimova by phone 0 312 596520 or 0 312 596520 and by e-mail