INTERVENTION WITH INJECTING DRUG USERS(IDUs) , OTHER DRUG USERS AND THEIR SEXUAL PARTNERS IN GUWAHATI, ASSAM

One of the first harm reduction projects for Injecting Drug Users in the country along with Manipur & Nagaland states of North East India has been implemented by APS. Based on the Outreach Model, the project through trained Peer Educators provided services with the principles of Harm Reduction for the Injecting Drug Users and those Drug Users at risk of injecting and sharing injecting equipment. The project is located in Guwahati City in Assam State of India. AIDS Prevention Society has initiated implementation of the Injecting Drug User Intervention Project with the component of harm reduction and HIV prevention supported by NACO, Govt. of India in January 1994 as a Pilot Project . The intervention project has resumed from April 2001. The principal objective of the project is aimed at:

  • Increasing awareness of HIV/AIDS transmission among the injecting drug users, other drug users at risk of injecting and their sexual partners in Guwahati City.

  • Reducing the incidence of sharing of injecting equipment used for injecting drugs by a large number of injecting drug users of Guwahati city in Assam. The situation in North East has witnessed the devastating effect of the epidemic attributed to high incidence of people with HIV among the injecting drug users specially in the states of Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland -all neighbouring states of Assam, where the incidence has reached a situation with a large number of the injecting drug user population with HIV infection. Further the epidemic has spread to the general population through their spouses.

  • Reducing injecting drug use through education on HIV/AIDS transmission and Harm Reduction.

  • Safer injecting and safer sexual practices - Clean needle & syringes, reducing sharing practices and increasing proper condom use

  • Providing counselling , referral for de addiction , drop in centre. The project is carried out in 15 identified localities of the city.

HALTING AIDS ON HIGHWAYS

It is a targeted intervention project for Truck Drivers & helpers for prevention of STDs/HIV/AIDS at Beltola, Assam along the National Highway 37 from Jalukbari to Jorabat assisted by NACO, Govt. of India since 1994-95. Some of the activities included Information, Education & Communication(IEC) & setting up of STD Clinic emphasising Syndromic Case Management of STDs . STD Clinic at Beltola along the national highway 37 was set up which treated a large number of STD cases and provided Counselling and Condoms to the target population.Primarily, the target audience were the Truck Drivers, their helpers and women who sell sex along the highways and also the secondary stakeholders which include Dhaba owners, Petrol Pump Owners, Clearing Agents, Weighbridges , Saloons, Pharmacies, Hotels, Pan shops, Coal agents, Tyre shops, Police and other transport related officials including All Assam Truck Drivers Union and All Assam Labours Union in the project.

The project after completion of the pilot phase has been continued in the same location with support from the DFID, British High Commission under the "Healthy Highway Project" since 1997.

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