IOM summarizes the results of a week-long campaign against AIDS

IOM summarizes the results of a week

Dushanbe, Tajikistan, November 28, 2013 – To mark the World AIDS Day, the IOM Mission in Tajikistan organized a week-long campaign among migrant workers and their families, which was launched on 28 November and concluded on 3 December 2013.

The campaign, which included interactive meetings with migrant workers and community activists, health fairs, drawing competitions among migrants’ children, quizzes, and theatrical performances, gave an opportunity to migrant workers and their families to increase their awareness and knowledge on sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV prevention and treatment.

The campaign was organized in partnership with non-government organizations together with local centres on AIDS prevention and control, doctors of Friendly Points for migrants and local authorities.

More than 7000 people have received information on HIV prevention and 281 people attended a voluntary HIV-testing following the results of the campaign in 35 districts and cities of the country. One thousand beneficiaries in Dushanbe received SMS messages advertising a hotline number designed to provide counselling and referral on STIs and HIV.

“Today, I had HIV test for the first time. While a medical worker was taking my blood, I tried to recall the risky behaviour I had as well as the moments and countless treatments at medical facilities. I received pre- and post-HIV test counselling and vowed to never put my health at risk again,” said a Tajik migrant worker.

“In the past, nearly everyone conceded that AIDS is a plague of the 20th century, thereby frightening the rest of the people. But now I know that by living a healthy lifestyle and taking antiretroviral therapy, an HIV-positive person can live a long life. Nobody is immune to HIV infection and therefore it is necessary to demonstrate compassion towards the HIV-positive person,” said a representative of a local government. 

“As it is known, the topic until 2015 – is Achieving the zero mark: No new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths – therefore we aim at achieving this objective in cooperation with NGOs and other institutions,” said an employee of a Center on AIDS Prevention and Control.

“It is not difficult for me to combine my main work with volunteer services. I am a teacher and I would like to see more people volunteering in this direction, especially among educators,” said a volunteer.

The week-long campaign against AIDS is conducted  within the framework  of the IOM project "HIV prevention among  migrant workers and their families in Tajikistan" in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Republic of Tajikistan with the financial support of UNDP as the Principal Recipient of the Global Fund against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Tajikistan.