LEADER for people living with HIV

Duration: August 2014 – August 2017

Budget (Regional): $335,077

Implementing Partner: Central Asia Republics Association of People Living with HIV (AFEW)

Activity Locations: Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

The project works to strengthen organizational and leadership capacity of the Central Asia Association of People Living with HIV, its Secretariat and its member organizations in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to more effectively address stigma and discrimination, advocate for equitable access to comprehensive prevention, treatment, and care, and address human rights issues affecting people living with HIV (PLHIV).


  • Strengthen the organizational and leadership capacity of the Association's Secretariat
  • Build competencies of the Association's member organizations to reduce stigma and discrimination in order to improve PLHIV access to quality services
  • Strengthen the ability of the Association's member organizations to reduce legal and policy barriers to services for PLHIV
  • Enable PLHIV organizations to advocate for quality systems that will deliver equitable services for PLHIV


  • Having assessed capacities of associations of PLHIV in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan to promote better access to services, the regional association organized a number of events to strengthen the country-level associations in 2014. The association leaders learned about leadership, governance issues and building partnerships. The associations also developed regional and a country-level advocacy plans to promote rights of PLHIV.


  • Over 300 people living with HIV from various NGOs across three countries participated in a series of workshops on advocacy, monitoring and evaluation, promoting of human rights, legal issues in the field of HIV, forming a tolerant attitude among health professionals toward PLHIV and other key populations.
  • The first PLHIV Stigma Index in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan was published with support from USAID and UNAIDS. It is a research based on interviews with hundreds of people living with HIV. The findings of the index were used to develop further steps to reduce stigma and discrimination.
  • On December 3-5, 2015, USAID and the CAA PLHIV convened the Second Regional Forum of people living with HIV. Representatives from Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan discussed efforts to prevent and reduce stigma and discrimination.


  • Over 160 health professionals of different levels took part in training in Dushanbe. Participants learned about HIV-related legal issues and ways to reduce stigma and discrimination against PLHIV. Another training on the same topic took place in Almaty. This time participants studied HIV-related issues in-depth to join the pool of trainers. The network also conducted a number of other trainings and workshops to strengthen management of non-government organizations, increase community organizations’ capacity and understanding of the epidemic and strengthen the national response to it.
  • CAA PLHIV also organized a number of events to raise awareness of the general public about HIV like concerts and photo exhibitions. The network also works to represent Central Asia in the international arena by participating in conferences, high-level meetings, international site visits and policy discussions.
  • The network also facilitated discussions of policy documents like the State Program to Combat HIV in 2017-2021in Kyrgyzstan and national strategy to eliminate stigma in Tajikistan. Health care professionals, NGO’s, government, international organizations and other stakeholders participated in these discussions.