A man cooks in a shelter supported by the UNDP and UNAIDS. Photo: Marion Biremon / UNDP Kyrgyzstan

The UNDP re-opened two centers for people living with HIV: one in Bishkek and one in Osh. These centers are meant to support and help people in difficult life situations who need to start or continue taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) and get back on their feet.

The UNDP project “Effective HIV and TB Control in the Kyrgyz Republic” is supporting the work of these shelters thanks to funding from the Joint United Nations Programs for HIV / AIDS UNAIDS. The centers provide the following services to people in need: free temporary housing, meals, access to laundry and shower, psychological support, legal and social consultations, HIV education and increased adherence to ART. People who do not live in these shelters can also benefit from these services, spend one night in the center, receive a consultation, eat and rest.

As the UNAIDS country director Meerim Sarybaeva says: “The Covid-19 pandemic showed that we can only reach significant results together, and I hope that these two centers will become a helpful tool for people in difficult life situations in this new context. We’re happy to partner with the UNDP as the collaboration of UN agencies allows us to provide even better services for people living with HIV.”

ART allows people with HIV to live a full life if they timely and regularly take treatment. This treatment is more important than ever before because of the new Covid-19 epidemic, to which people with HIV are more vulnerable. Shelters allow patients suffering from financial difficulties or victims of domestic violence to find solutions to their problems, strengthen their immune system, look for a job and arm themselves with all the necessary to build a brighter future.

“People living with HIV sometimes face difficult life situations in addition to health problems: violence, stigma and discrimination, unemployment, homelessness, isolation… These centers are important transition points where people living with HIV can receive treatment and help in order to solve their problems and change their life for the better,” says Inga Babicheva, project coordinator for the UNDP / Global Fund.

Those who need to use the services of these centers can receive additional information at the Osh Regional and Bishkek City AIDS Centers.

Within the project “Effective HIV and TB control in the Kyrgyz Republic”, funded by the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the UNDP supports prevention, diagnosis and treatment of HIV and TB.

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