World AIDS Day: USAID Continues to Work with the Most Vulnerable Groups

To commemorate World AIDS Day, the USAID funded HIV React Project will sponsor a series of events to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS. The USAID-funded HIV React Project works to prevent new cases of HIV in detention facilities and will provide a series of awareness-raising events to draw public attention to the problem. This project works with the Kyrgyz Republic’s nine largest prison facilities. In its first year of implementation, this project reached more than 3000 prisoners with HIV-preventative interventions.

There are currently 11 prison facilities in the Kyrgyz Republic, containing more than 5,000 prisoners. The prevalence of HIV amongst the prison population is disproportionately high. According to a 2013 study, the overall rate of HIV infection amongst prisoners is 7.6%.  The rate of HIV infection amongst recidivists is 7 times higher, compared to first-time prisoners.

The HIV React Project is also organizing a workshop on developing efficient HIV-prevention and treatment strategies for former prisoners. Workshop participants are former prisoners that work with AIDS prevention NGOs to help recently released inmates maintain their HIV treatment regimen and receive other medical services post incarceration. The workshops will take place on December 16-17, 2015 in Bishkek.

On December 18, 2015, Prison Facility #31 will mark the fifth anniversary of its Social Rehabilitation and Adaptation Center (SRAC). To commemorate this anniversary and World AIDS Day, prisoners will address invited audiences about HIV prevention. In addition, former prisoners will share successes of their post-release life and give advice on how to live successful, healthy, and sober lives. SRAC opened with the support of international organizations and remains one of the leading institutions that help prisoners fight HIV and adopt healthy behaviors.

World AIDS Day is marked on December 1st each year to remind everyone of the need to stop the global spread of HIV/AIDS and to demonstrate solidarity with people around the world affected by this epidemic.