“Health of HIV positive migrants in Kazakhstan” – a Roundtable held in Almaty

On December 13, 2022 the Regional Expert Group on Migration and Health together with Central Asian Association of People Living with HIV held a Round Table in Almaty “Health of HIV positive migrants in Kazakhstan”. The event was organized within the framework of the Global Fund project “Sustainability of Services for Key Populations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia region”.

The aim of the Roundtable was to promote effective and timely treatment of international migrants living with HIV.   

During the meeting, the Situational and Economic analysis on the provision of HIV-related health services for international migrants in Kazakhstan was presented and discussed. Experts from “Kazakhstan Union of People Living with HIV” and the Public Foundation “Human Health Institute” presented their experience of addressing the needs of HIV-positive migrants in Kazakhstan. After that, participants of the meeting were presented with migrant-sensitive solutions in HIV care based of experience of Moldova and Kyrgyzstan. The final presentation aimed to present different models of support of systemic decisions, implemented by NGO sector in receiving countries.

In addition to the participants mentioned above, the roundtable was attended by representatives of the Kazakhstan Scientific Center for Dermatology and Infectious Diseases of Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Health, the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition EECA, UNAIDS, AFEW Kazakhstan, International Group to Support the Best Practices in Healthcare and other participants. International speakers included representatives of the Global Fund, the Republian AIDS Center of Kyrgyzstan and the National Program for the Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS and STIs of the Republic of Moldova.

The key outcome of the Roundtable was is an action plan with the aim to expand HIV care for foreign citizens in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The short-term plan includes the launch of a National Working Group on Migrant Health on the basis of the Kazakhstan Union of PLHIV with the participation of all key stakeholders from the state, civil society, and international organizations with expert support from REG.  

The plan includes the following key steps:

– discussion and development of a model for remote registration of Kazakhstan citizens residing abroad for the provision of HIV services and treatment of viral hepatitis C;

– writing a request to launch a commercial sale of ART in Kazakhstan;

– forming a request for international organizations in order to organize emergency provision of treatment (ART and medical tests) for foreign citizens staying in Kazakhstan.

– including a request for funds in a new proposal for the Global Fund (to be submitted in 2023) for an emergency response on the provision of HIV services, as well as sexual and reproductive health for international migrants; 

– update the roadmap of the Paris Declaration in the city of Almaty to migrant health services at the local level (on the basis of the Almaty City Parliament).

The medium and long-term plan includes

– conducting a study with the aim to estimate the number of HIV-positive migrants in the Republic of Kazakhstan;

– developing a Program of Assistance to international migrants and stateless persons living with HIV in Kazakhstan at the national and regional levels;

– collecting of evidence-based and political arguments to promote migrant health in Kazakhstan at the national level;

– developing a “Plan for Emergency Support of NGOs” as a model for rapid response to emerging humanitarian crises;

– considering changes to the system of routine medical care to migrants living with HIV in Kazakhstan;

– initiating mutual recognition of tests results between AIDS Centers in the Central Asian region.