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Modern approaches to HIV prevention among substance abusers

The curriculum for health providers "Modern approaches to HIV prevention among substance abusers".
The use of injection drugs is the main cause of HIV transmission in Russia. An important part of the fight against the HIV epidemic is preventing substance abuse and risky behavior by substance abusers. The aim of this program is to build a social support system for substance abusers and people living with HIV that will give clients access to high-quality care from different types of specialists and will help ensure that they participate in psychological, rehabilitative, and preventive activities. The curriculum “Modern approaches to HIV prevention among substance abusers” is the first educational course of its kind for infectious disease specialists and specialists in substance abuse treatment and care in Russia. Its development resulted in an improvement of the system of providing medical care to HIV-infected users of psychoactive substances

The training of medical professionals under the new course assisted in the creation of an effective model of cross-agency partnership. Medical professionals from institutions providing specialized services, that is, AIDS centers and substance abuse treatment hospitals, work as a team accompanying HIV-infected users of psychoactive substances during all stages from testing to treatment.

The implementation of the curriculum in the Siberian Federal District enabled specialists in substance abuse treatment and care and infectious disease hospitals to enhance their practical skills and increase their knowledge. Due to this program, the first professional teams combining doctors working in substance abuse treatment and care and infectious diseases were formed and started providing a higher level of medical care to HIV-infected IDUs. 
These results and changes will have a positive influence on the HIV epidemic, not only in the Siberian Federal District but throughout the Russian Federation as well. 
 

Program description 

In correspondence with the approved curriculum requirements, “Modern approaches to HIV prevention among substance abusers” has a module structure. It consists of 9 modules that present information on various aspects of HIV infection, substance abuse, and psychiatry. 

Module 1.Infectious disease and infectious disease services in the Russian Federation. 
This module provides general information about the structure of providing medical care to HIV-infected patients and IDUs in Russia. 

Module 2. HIV, AIDS. 
This module provides information about HIV infection – the virus, its symptoms, and means of infection. 

Module 3. HIV epidemiology. 
This module provides information on the spread of HIV in Russia. 

Module 4. Clinical course of HIV infection. 
This module provides information about the stages of the disease and the symptoms of each stage. 

Module 5. Laboratory diagnosis of HIV. 
This module provides information about modern ways of diagnosing HIV. 

Module 6. HIV treatment among users of psychoactive substances. 
This module provides information about the specifics of treating HIV among IDUs. 

Module 7. Prevention of HIV among users of psychoactive substances. 
This module provides information about modern recommendations and strategies (Russian and international) on preventing HIV infection among IDUs. 

Module 8. Communication and counseling about HIV. 
This module provides the information necessary for medical professionals to improve their communication skills and be successful in HIV treatment. 

Module 9. Techniques to ensure that users of psychoactive substances continue HIV treatment. 
This module provides information about the most effective ways to ensure that patients continue a program of HIV treatment, which is especially important for IDUs. 
 

Authors 

Valentina Beliaeva – doctor of medicine, leading research officer at the Federal AIDS Center 
Andrei Karpets – candidate of science, senior lecturer at the department of psychiatry and narcology at the Orenburg State Medical Academy 
Evgenia Koshkina - doctor of medicine, professor, director of the National Research Center of Narcology 
Galina Lenok - candidate of science, head of the department of infectious diseases at the Irkutsk State Institute for the Further Training of Physicians 
Yuri Martinov - doctor of medicine, professor, deputy head of the department of infectious diseases at Moscow State Medical Stomatological University 
Olga Petrunko - candidate of science, senior lecturer at the department of psychiatry at the Irkutsk State Institute for the Further Training of Physicians 
Dmitry Piven- doctor of medicine, professor, head of the department of public health at the Irkutsk State Institute for the Further Training of Physicians 
Mikhail Skachkov - doctor of medicine, professor, head of the department of infectious diseases at the Orenburg State Medical Academy 
Alexander Sofronov- doctor of medicine, professor, head of the department of psychiatry at the St. Petersburg Medical Academy of Postgraduate Studies 
Vladimir Sprakh- doctor of medicine, professor, head of the department of neurology and neurosurgery at the Irkutsk State Institute for the Further Training of Physicians 
Nikolai Yshuk- doctor of medicine, professor, head of the department of infectious diseases and epidemiology at the Moscow State Medical Stomatological University 
 

Reviewers 

Yuri Arzumanov - doctor of medicine, professor, manager of the laboratory of neurophysiology at the National Research Center of Narcology 
Tatiana Ermak– candidate of science, leading research officer at the Federal AIDS Center 
Andrei Igonin- doctor of medicine, professor, head of the department of forensic and psychiatric problems of drug addiction and alcoholism at the V.P. Serbsky State Research Center of Social and Forensic Psychiatry 
Galina Kozhevnikova- doctor of medicine, professor at the department of infectious diseases, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia 
Sergei Shamov- doctor of medicine, professor, scientific director at Moscow Narcology Hospital No.17 


Working group 

This working group include specialists from the following medical, educational, and research institutions: 
Federal AIDS Center 
Irkutsk State Institute for the Further Training of Physicians 
National Research Center of Narcology 
Orenburg State Medical Academy 
St. Petersburg Medical Academy of Postgraduate Studies 
Moscow Medical Stomatological Institute 
V.P. Serbsky State Research Center of Social and Forensic Psychiatry 
Moscow Narcology Hospital No.17 
 

Contacts 

For additional information on “Modern approaches to HIV prevention among substance abusers” please contact: 
Health and Development Foundation 
Program Director Sergey Frolov 
frolov@fzr.ru