NGOs against the prevention of HIV/AIDS competition

chair of the regional organisation, The Rights of the Child and member of the
public chamber, Boris Altshuler, has written to the prime minister, Vladimir
Putin, asking that the ministry of health and social development’s competition
relating to the prevention of HIV/AIDS be abolished and that he give
instructions for effective mechanisms to be developed for providing financial
support to effective NGO initiatives in different areas of social policy (e.g.
prevention of HIV, addiction to drugs and child abandonment). Mr Altshuler said
that the competition envisaged the allocation of resources on the basis that
the state would purchase services under federal law no 94 under a commercial
agreement between the ministry and NGOs. His view is that the aims and tasks
for which resources are distributed (namely, informing  representatives of vulnerable groups about
the places where and the times when the health institutions work and directing
or accompanying them to such institutions for medico-social consultations and
testing for HIV) bears no real relation to preventing HIV…


A number
of other voluntary organisations share Mr Altshuler’s views. Olga Fedora of the
inter-regional civil rights association, Agora, said that according to the
competition documents, the NGOs were obliged to bring 123,062 people to be
tested within 39 days in 8 federal regions. In her opinion it was unrealistic
to expect fulfilment of the competition conditions within the stipulated time
limits. In addition, she thought that merely testing defined groups of the
population could not be termed ‘prevention’. ‘It is necessary to explain to
people in the at risk group why it is advisable to go to AIDS centres and then
to undergo a repeat test for HIV. For this purpose they should be offered the
services of peer counsellors, doctors, and psychologists and provided with
social support…The terms and conditions of the competition are silent on these
points’, observed Ms Fedorova.


chair of the board of the inter-regional NGO, The Association of People Living
with HIV, Andrei Zlobin, told the ASI correspondent that NGOs had been assigned
the role of intermediaries for the purpose of selecting patients but that they
had not been granted either recognition or support for their special potential
regarding meeting the needs of HIV-positive people for information, counselling
and social support. Mr Zlobin pointed out that the principle of paying for work
done was inappropriate for NGOs whose finance had been received, predominantly,
conditional on its being spent for specified purposes.”Many would not be
able to expend their own resources in the hope of being remunerated for work
done and take real risks’, he observed.


He said
that the main criticisms of the NGOs related to the need to allow reasonable
time limits for carrying out the work, the mechanisms for allocating finance to
them and the adequacy of the preventive services.




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