Borikhan Shaumarov

HIV/HCV prevalence and risk behavior among NPS users are a growing public health burden

Shared by Borikhan Shaumarov - 9 May 2021
Originally posted by Borikhan Shaumarov - 9 May 2021

On April 27, 2021, UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia held a training seminar for specialists of the republican and regional levels responsible for drug dependence treatment and HIV prevention services in the Republic of Uzbekistan. The main goal of the national training was to increase the capacity of government and non-government organizations that implement HIV and HCV prevention programs to provide effective evidence-based services for people who use new psychoactive substances (NPS) and stimulants.

At the opening of the workshop Mr. Borikhan Shaumarov, UNODC Programme Coordinator, noted a global increase in the number of new HIV and HCV infections with their concentration among key populations. He also stressed the high risk of HIV transmission among consumers of synthetic drug which are gradually filling the country's illicit market.

This training was compiled from the regional training “Building the capacity of countries to implement evidence-based HIV prevention, treatment, care and support for people who use NPS / stimulant drugs”, which took place in November last year in online format. The event, which was held in a hybrid format, was attended by 111 specialists from drug treatment and HIV/AIDS services, as well as NGOs. Participants were introduced to the basic concepts of stimulant drugs, their effects and health risks, HIV prevention, treatment, care and support interventions, and discussed how to implement various interventions among key populations at risk who use NPS and stimulants in the country. Representatives of NGOs and public organizations took an active part in discussing the possibilities of adapting international experience in the country. Along with this, they shared their experience and difficulties in implementing initiatives to combat HIV infection, among the main risk groups, against the background of the use of stimulants.

As part of the training, UNODC presented the results of a pilot study on assessing the needs and accessibility of HIV prevention and treatment services for people using NPS and stimulants, which was conducted in 2020 by a team of national experts within the framework of the UNODC program.

At the end of the training, issues were discussed, the solution of which has a positive impact on the creation of conditions conducive to the prevention of HIV and HCV, and the provision of effective evidence-based services for people who use NPS and stimulants.

The event was organized within the framework of Sub-Programme 3 - "Prevention and treatment of drug addiction, reintegration of drug addicts and HIV prevention" of the UNODC Programme for Central Asia with financial support from the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).