Russia is one of the few countries in the world where HIV infection rates continue to rise. Official government data says there are more than 1 million people living with HIV in Russia, although experts agree the true number is likely to be closer to 1.5 million.
GNP+ has partnered with the Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Health and Social Justice – a Russian grassroots organisation – to strengthen its advocacy for health, human rights, and access to quality HIV services for people who use drugs in Russia.
Around 1.9 million people inject drugs in Russia and almost one-third of them are living with HIV. Instead of providing harm reduction services for this vulnerable population, the Russian government is committed to a destructive war on drugs.
The Andrey Ryklov Foundation (ARF) is determined to expose and break down the laws, policies, and practices that are so harmful to people living with HIV in Russia. At the same time, ARF recognises that the people best placed to deliver HIV and harm reduction services are community-based organisations, so ARF’s work includes a mixture of:
- community empowerment
- legal action to challenge the criminalization of people who use drugs
- initiatives to alleviate stigma
- advocating for international pressure on the Russian regime
- promoting harm reduction approaches
- lobbying for rights-based drug policies
As well as providing the ARF with financial assistance, GNP+ is also sharing its advocacy expertise and helping to strengthen community systems.