Irkutsk regional public organization "Center for Social Assistance "Navigator" was registered on 04.02.2016 by a team of like-minded people who have worked for many years in HIV prevention programs implemented by the Regional Office of the Red Cross. From the very beginning of its existence, "Navigator" was included in the implementation of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria project implemented by the Open Health Institute. In the course of the project, a low-threshold center for people who use drugs was organized, within the walls of which our project participants could and still can receive all the necessary services to reduce the harm from drug use and prevent infectious diseases.
Since October 2018, we have been implementing the "First Step to Health" project aimed at expanding access to ART for people who use drugs. We have a stable and deep connection with the PWUD community in Irkutsk, which allows us to quickly respond to the problems and requests of our clients. Our main partner is the State Budgetary Healthcare Institution "Irkutsk Regional Center for the Prevention and Control of AIDS and Infectious Diseases", which provides our clients with a “green corridor” for doctors and accelerated ART. In addition, we have organized a rapid testing and counseling center on HIV infection in order to more effectively respond to changes in the lives of our clients. For people who receive ART, we have organized ongoing support.
We try to ensure that people do not fall out of the treatment process, and we regularly ask about their lives and problems associated with treatment. As part of the project, we can support the livelihoods of our participants by issuing food and personal hygiene kits. Since most of our clients are people with low social status and extremely low economic autonomy, they really need any kind of material support. For those project participants who, for one reason or another, have lost their social documents and their identity requires confirmation in order to receive ART, we have the opportunity to pay fines and fees required to restore documents. In addition, we have an established relationship with trusted doctors: phthisiatrician, gynecologist, venereologist, whom our clients can contact without queues and payment.
Also, employees of our organization are in a constant process of accompanying our clients, our phone numbers are always available, and we can promptly intervene in the process. Very often, our clients are denied medical assistance, especially initially. Often, ambulance teams refuse to accept our clients, and then we promptly intervene and carry out mediation. Stigma and discrimination today are a very serious problem in our society, these phenomena make it difficult for us to move towards achieving our goals.
Our organization is a participant in all activities in the Russian Federation and in the EECA region. We were among the initiators of the “Outreach” Coalition and are actively involved in its work. We also became members of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum and are part of the Working Group on Public Health along with other organizations of the Russian Federation and Europe.
We adhere to all principles of a humane and free society. We are against all forms of discrimination.
Contact person: Aleksey Trutnev