Currently Association is focused on the HIV/AIDS prevention projects.
General background Russian Federation has one of the fastest growing HIV/AIDS epidemics in the world. While the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the country has so far largely been among marginal groups for example, injecting drug users and sex workers – there is increasing evidence of heterosexual transmission, which raises concerns about a more generalised epidemic. Heterosexual HIV transmission in the Russian Federation, for example, was reported at 6% in 2001 and 25% in 2004, up to 37% in 2005. Consequently women, many of them under 25 years old, bear a growing part of the HIV burden. In 2005, they accounted for 41% of newly reported HIV infections. About one third of newly diagnosed HIV infections in this region are in people aged 15-24 years old.
Sexuality education can be seen as one of the key success factors when fighting the HIV-infections among young people. According to the Sexuality education in Europe - A reference guide to policies and practices (2006) a broad approach is needed for efficient work. Sexuality health education must been seen as a part of wider initiatives to improve the health and well-being of youth. The media plays an important role. Policy makers and people providing sexuality education need to work more proactively together with media to make it serve education and health/well-being of youth.
Context of the Association The prevention of HIV/AIDS with Russian cities has been explored since 2004, in order to work multi-disciplinary with HIV/AIDS professionals and to establish good practises. The initiative for this theme and cooperation came from the World Health Communication Associates ltd. During the years 2005-2007 several preparatory meetings were organised both with Russian and Estonian representatives.
For the first time the funding for Russian project was applied from TACIS/IBPP in June 2006. Funding for the was applied again in June 2007. The project was approved in late 2007 and began in March 2008.
Goal The goal of promoting sexual health and the prevention of HIV/AIDS at the city level is:
- to provide tools for youth sexuality education,
- to provide tools for the improvement of youth health and well-being,
- to decrease the HIV/AIDS epidemic,
- to reduce stigma and discrimination of people living with HIV/AIDS.