HIV Central Asia

Speeches Shim

Our Strategy

Central Asia is one of the few regions in the world where the HIV epidemic continues to grow, especially in Kazakhstan. Currently, most infections occur within concentrated high-risk groups, including people who inject drugs (PWID) and their injecting and sexual partners. Thirty-seven percent of the cumulative HIV cases in Kazakhstan has been reported among PWID. The epidemiological data show that female sex workers and men who have sex with men are also disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS relative to the general population.

USAID is a key partner in the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, which is the largest and most diverse HIV and AIDS prevention, care, and treatment initiative in the world. USAID activities target the PWID population and their sexual and/or injecting partners, including those in geographic areas with large numbers of people living with HIV (PLHIV), a high HIV prevalence among PWID, or large total PWID estimates. Community-based programs identify and enroll PLHIV in effective, comprehensive, and high-quality HIV services. Those individuals who test negative for HIV and are at high risk are referred for prevention services.  


USAID activities align with the National Health Strategies of the countries in Central Asia to reach the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) 95-95-95 goals: 95 percent of HIV infected people know their status, 95 percent of these are on HIV treatment and 95 percent of these have no detectable virus.

USAID works strategically with community based organizations (CBOs) to implement HIV programs. CBOs play the largest role in reaching people at high risk for HIV, offering testing and services and educating them about their rights. They also help to address stigma and discrimination against people with HIV and those at high risk.

USAID works with UNAIDS, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the Global Fund, and other United States government agencies to coordinate the region’s response to HIV and AIDS.


In coordination with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), USAID locates high-risk groups and people living with HIV through a range of innovative peer network driven approaches. Peer navigators working with community-based organizations use these approaches to offer HIV testing to those at high risk, identify PLHIV, and provide them access to comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care services. USAID works to reduce structural barriers that prevent people from learning their status and limits their access to high-quality HIV services.

USAID focuses on improving systems that promote adherence to and retention in life-saving antiretroviral treatment for people living with HIV. This is vitally important, because in addition to saving clients’ lives, HIV treatment lowers the amount of virus in the body and can greatly reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to others.

USAID strengthens the capacity of national and local institutions, NGOs, and individuals to more effectively lead the planning, delivery, and monitoring of quality services to key populations and to advocate for improved policies and access to services. USAID is working with the Government of Kazakhstan to increase support for community-based organizations to provide HIV prevention, testing and treatment services to at-risk populations with a goal of reaching epidemic control. In addition, USAID is increasing the capacities of local organizations to participate in the decision making and in addressing stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and key populations.


  • The Meeting Targets and Maintaining Epidemic Control activity works to increase the use of evidence-based government- and NGO-provided HIV prevention, treatment, and care services for people living with HIV and for high-risk groups: people who inject drugs, sex workers, men who have sex with men, and partners of these populations. Through the use of peer counselors, these projects are able to reach high risk individuals who are otherwise not reached with health services. 
  • The Social Innovation in Central Asia activity works to strengthen the HIV policy environment to more effectively address stigma and discrimination in healthcare facilities, ensure greater involvement of PLHIV in HIV program decision making, and support community-led monitoring efforts to assure provision of high-quality HIV services.

Last updated: January 20, 2022

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