Almaty. August 6.
Information center - Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID) completed its successful HIV Flagship program in Central Asia. In
Kazakhstan, the program included HIV testing, linking HIV-positive people with
social services, and introducing self-tests to East Kazakhstan and Pavlodar
regions, US Embassy in Kazakhstan reports.
To reduce the number of new HIV cases and reduce HIV’s
mortality rate, USAID focused its activities in the East Kazakhstan and
Pavlodar regions which have the highest HIV growth rates in the country. Over
the past five years, USAID tested 10,000 people for HIV of which about 600 of
them learned that they were HIV positive. Through this project another 3,000
HIV-positive people started life-saving treatment. These efforts are helping
Kazakhstan achieve the UNAIDS
90-90-90 goals, which will lay the foundation for a healthier world
for future generations, getting us closer to ending the AIDS epidemic.
“The Government of Kazakhstan leads the region in addressing
HIV/AIDS and is providing most of the funding for its response. We work
together with Kazakhstan to ensure our efforts are cost-effective and
impactful,” said Christopher Edwards, the Regional Mission Director for USAID
Central Asia. “One of the important topics we need to continue working on is stigma.
Access to confidential HIV testing remains an issue of concern and many people
still only get tested after becoming ill and symptomatic.”
“The Management Information System provided by USAID for
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to work with key populations will improve
the quality of provided services. I am convinced that this will also increase
the contribution of the civil society in the fight with HIV,” said Dr.
Bauyrzhan Baiserkin, Director of the Kazakh Scientific Center for Dermatology and
Infectious Diseases at the Ministry of Health.
USAID introduced innovative approaches in case management
and testing for HIV. Since November 2019 USAID has helped introduce self-tests
and rapid saliva testing through NGOs, enabling the testing of more than 500
people. Additionally, USAID provided a management information system for NGOs
in Kazakhstan to help track and control the HIV epidemic among key populations.
The U.S. government through USAID has been supporting HIV programs in
Kazakhstan since 2003, funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS
Relief, most recently providing services under USAID’s
Central Asia HIV Flagship program.