Russia is facing a growing HIV epidemic, which particularly affects people who use drugs and sex workers. These people are at risk of violence from the police, from clients, from exploitation networks… Their working conditions, the social stigma to which they are subjected and the difficulties they have in accessing medical care, just increase their isolation and vulnerability.
Russia is facing a growing HIV epidemic.
Awareness and prevention
Doctors of the World launched a programme in Moscow in 2015 to improve access to care for sex workers, to help them to protect themselves from HIV, STIs and violence. The association conducts night patrols in and around the Russian capital to reach out to them, raise awareness of infections and provide them with methods of prevention (condoms, etc.). In some health centres, where doctor have undergone awareness training, sex workers can access an anonymous care package, tailored to their specific needs.
Organising the community
Doctors of the World also works with Shagui and Silver Rose, two Russian organisations, to encourage the mobilisation of sex workers. The aim is for them to become proactive regarding their health and quality of life, but also for them to be involved in devising health policies which affect them.
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