TRAINING SESSIONS FOR AWARENESS OF INJECTING DRUG USERS ABOUT THE OPIOID SUBSTITUTION THERAPY PROGRAMM
The Republican Public Organization “Afif” implements the project “Strengthening the maintenance medium and expanding the scale of prevention, treatment and care to containment the HIV epidemic in the Republic of Tajikistan” in Khatlon region with financial support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (UNDP - Tajikistan), in 9 cities and districts of the Bokhtar zone of the Khatlon region.
The aim of the project is to provide access to harm reduction programs for IDU in Bokhtar zone of the Khatlon region of Tajikistan. The project envisages reducing the number of new HIV cases among IDU, improving the set of measures for informational support and services related to HIV among IDU, as well as improving the basic tools for implementing programs among people living with HIV / AIDS.
Within the framework of this project, the Afif Representative Office in Khatlon region together with the Khatlon regional Health Department conducted 12 training sessions with the participation of people who inject drugs and their close circle on the issue of involving IDU in the opioid substitution therapy (OST) program.
During the sessions, issues such as - what is methadone and its benefits, the purpose of treating opioid dependence with methadone, physical health due to drug use, physical health during participation in the OST program, the prevention of infectious diseases, existing myths and ways to dispel myths were discussed.
Thanks to information sessions, people who inject drugs and their close associates began to realize that participation in the OST program helps to strengthen their social and legal status, helps reduce or stop the use of illegal drugs, reduces crime and the risk of overdoses, which means mortality, improves the quality of life and the health of those who are taking substitution therapy and improving treatment adherence for diseases requiring long-term treatment (HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis).
Information: Within the framework of the project, 9 peer consultants were hired, 6 of which are participants in the OST program, 3 are in remission, and 3 have HIV status. With the support of peer counselors and close associates, 21 IDU began and / or resumed methadone intake on the OST website.