Bishkek – August 8, 2019 – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)  launched a photo exhibition entitled “On the Edge,” in partnership with the USAID HIV React Project. The exhibition is being held from August 8 to 14 in the Exhibition Hall of the Artists’ Union at Dubovyi (Oak) Park. It is open to the public.

The exhibition was designed to challenge the negative attitudes the public often holds towards former prisoners. The photography is the work of Alexei Osipov, an emerging photographer from Kyrgyzstan. His work was primarily done in half-way houses for ex-prisoners and ex-prisoners’ homes. The photographs were selected for their ability to show that when prisoners, prison staff, health providers, and non-governmental organizations work together they can bring former inmates to live healthy and productive lives.

The launch event for the exhibition was attended by representatives from the State Penitentiary  Service, the Ministry of Justice, Republican AIDS Center, the Narcology Center, the National TB Center, international organizations,  and civil society organizations.

In support to the event USAID Mission Director Gary Linden offered the following statement:  “Thanks to our joint efforts over the past five years, more than five thousand prisoners have received HIV testing and counseling services.  We also help ex-prisoners to reintegrate into society and continue their life-saving treatment so they can build healthy and productive lives.”

The exhibition was organized by the USAID HIV REACT project, a regional initiative implemented by the AIDS Foundation East-West (AFEW)-Kazakhstan. The USAID HIV REACT project supports HIV prevention activities and links prisoners and ex-prisoners to treatment and care services.