Andrey Rylkov Foundation
for Health and Social Justice

Harm Reduction – Moscow. 2018 Project Report


Usually, a large part of our work is dedicated to finding funding to support our activities. Despite the instability and unpredictability of funding every year, we were lucky that the work of our harm reduction project has not been interrupted since 2009. And although we have had periods of very little funding, we managed to maintain services at a stable level and increase the coverage and range of services every year.

In 2018, unexpectedly, in a year when it seemed, there would be no money at all, we were fortunate enough to work in conditions of good financing. First, we received an Emergency grant from the AidsFonds and second, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, decided to support our work for another half a year after initially planning to fund until the summer of 2018. Such generous co-financing has allowed to expand outreach activities as well as our popularity among various community groups. First, we increased the activity of core services: the frequency of outreach in the streets, distributed more materials, provided assistance in solving social, medical and legal issues, released useful informational materials such as a newspaper for drug users “Shlyapa i Bayan”, a brochure “Good news for people living with HIV”, conducted training events and community meetings. We were able to increase our indicators in the number of outreach visits and other parameters by 30 per cent compared to 2017. All of this allowed us to take our work to a new level and help more people than before.

In addition to quantitative growth, we were able to expand our project to reach new key groups and networks of people who use drugs, in particular men who have sex with men (in the context of chemsex), young people (who mainly purchase drugs in the darkweb), young people who use drugs in the context of the dance scene, users of stimulants and new psychoactive substances, street female sex workers. Such a quantitative and conceptual expansion of the project became an important turning point in our work.

Despite the difficulties related to working in the context of hyper-repressive drug policy we manage to improve our work making it more appealing for various groups of PWUD. At the same time, this context presents many challenges: repression of non-governmental and non-progovernmental organizations, the loss of donors, severe marginalization and stigmatization of PWUD, difficulties in access to necessary medical services and narrow opportunities for work in the field of HIV prevention, protection of human rights and harm reduction.

More information on the results of the “Harm Reduction – Moscow” project implementation in 2018 is available in the narrative project report.

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