The women are the most vulnerable to HIV group, as a consequence of their biological particularities and stereotypes existing in society, being the most stigmatised, closed, dependent on their male partner. Their part in the prophylactic programmes of Sevastopol is only 13% (according to the Syrex project data). Thanks to the UNODC financial support and with the social centre for drug consumers of “Youth centre for women’s initiatives” as the base, a centre named “Woman to Woman” was opened. The centre worked one day a week as a “social supermarket”. A comfortable and attractive meeting place for female clients was the project’s key element. On that day, the services could be used only by women, and the services list was extended with special services for the women that were selected according to the results of a focus group. The additional services were informational classes with a psychologist, lawyer, social worker, individual consultations with a therapist, infectious disease specialist, gynaecologist, etc., an opportunity to participate in the Creative studio, manicure and haircut, a self-aid group, food and hygienic kits for women and children. The services were provided by female specialists only, including the use of the “Equal to Equal” method. At the meetings, information regarding to the women’s health and rights was brought to the clients so that they were able to feel more confident and based their choices on better informed decisions.
From May to October of 2012, more than 300 female drug consumers were involved in the project’s services. Among them, a volunteer group (9 women) was prepared for the future prophylactic work with women. The project’s activity demonstrated its actuality and the need for it to be continued. During the project implementation the participation of female drug consumers reached 32%.
- gender services
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