The first ever universal HIV/AIDS prophylaxis strategy for governmental and non-governmental organizations has been developed in Kulob region of Khatlon area.

According to Tohir Tumanov, Director of the Kulob regional HIV/AIDS prophylaxis center, HIV morbidity in the region has increased in the past 9 years. He said HIV control efforts cover all 10 regions of the area, especially among vulnerable groups such as prisoners, commercial sex workers, injection drug users and migrants. However, he added, the work with the population is insufficient.

“Lack of coordination between both governmental and non-governmental organizations caused a situation when in one region we have 2-3 organizations dealing with these issues and no organizations at all in other regions,” he said adding that in the course of the “round table” it was decided to change this gap.

Tumanov said that much more attention will now be paid to work with labor migrants who leave the country and those who return back. “Russia has changed its approach to labor migrants and now they do not need to pass HIV-test before going to Russia any more,” he said. “However, the number of HIV-positive migrants is growing and now the number of HIV-infected migrants is even higher than the number of HIV-infected drug users.”

Another important theme, which was discussed at the round table, concerns prejudices and discrimination of HIV-infected people. Tumanov believes that prejudices and discrimination complicate the problem and hamper vulnerable groups to get consultations, prophylaxis and treatment.