Over the years, the programme strategies and approaches have evolved to not only provide essential harm reduction services but technical assistance and delivery of a comprehensive package of services. The programme has been successful in strengthening harm reduction services for PWID, enhancing the capacity of TI NGOs, the formation of state drug-user forums to support community members/groups become part of the decision-making process, building the leadership of frontline workers, sensitizing and engaging law enforcement agencies. The programme is complementing the national programme by closely working with the State AIDS Control Society (SACS).
Supported by Frontline AIDS, Alliance India is implementing Hridaya, current cycle 2016-2020, in five states of India: Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Mizoram and Sikkim. It is designed to address the capacity and service delivery gaps and raise the standards of the national HIV prevention programme. Considering the changing patterns among drug users and their sexual behaviour as per the recent national studies, Hridaya project added to the design – a pilot intervention at one site in Delhi to address the unmet needs of spouses and female partners (FSP) of male IDUs and Female Injecting Drug Users (FIDU). The intervention provided information and awareness on the prevention and treatment of HIV and sexually transmitted infections as well as related services. The FSP intervention intends to develop a differentiated model of delivering essential services to the unreached FSPs of male Drug Users as well as Female Injecting Drug Users.
- Equipped and trained the frontline workers to empower the PWID community, help increase access to services and develop leaders who further advocate for improving availability, accessibility and quality of services.
- The Opioid Substitute Therapy (OST) service providers were trained to directly help in scaling up of OST centres and improving quality of OST services.
- Cadre specific training initiated to increase the reach of harm reduction services and to help in reviewing and further update national training modules on harm reduction.
Project Results (April 2018 to March 2019)
- 5966 PWIDs and their sexual partners registered with the project received one of the project services.
- 1030 PWIDs and their sexual partners tested for HIV, among them 33 PWIDs and 1 sexual partner were found HIV positive and further linked to the treatment centre.
- 12 secondary outlets for distribution of needle/syringe to increase the availability of essential harm reduction services for the unreached PWID in the under covered areas were established benefiting 413 PWID.
- 138 PWIDs initiated on OST.
- 84 Peer educators and outreach workers trained in enhancing their knowledge and capacity.
- 38 Programme Managers and outreach workers from 13 PWID TIs of Delhi participated in cadre specific training on Harm Reduction showing a substantial increase in knowledge and skills.
- Feasibility assessment exercises conducted in 14 districts for opening satellite OST in high burden districts of both Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. In the first phase, two districts are set to open. The process of assessment and finalization is ongoing in Uttar Pradesh.