This is Bishkek, Baby

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For example, my husband is in jail now and he also has HIV. Prisoners think that the therapy has severe side effects. I try to convince him, but he continues to refuse without even trying. People are afraid of discrimination and self-stigmatization after being diagnosed with HIV. Today, 3, people in Kyrgyzstan receive ART. At that time, the boy was admitted to intensive care unit because of an insect bite. My son was seven when he was diagnosed with HIV. We started receiving therapy, even though my husband and mother-in-law were against it. We currently receive treatment at the regional hospital where we live.

In order to get additional treatment, we need to take a referral from the AIDS centre. I know other parents who deny that the diagnosis is written on the medical card. They occasionally meet doctors who do not know about the special mark on the referral and they can ask about the meaning of the mark in front of everbody. Decentralization of ART services to the primary level happened in almost all regions of Kyrgyzstan. It has become more convenient for patients to receive the service. Nevertheless, service in small regional hospitals sometimes jeopardizes the confidentiality of the therapy, as we can see with the mark or mentioning HIV openly on the medical card.

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There are not many of them, but one or two such cases quickly spread in the community. The number of ART involved patients grows every year. Since , the patient coverage has increased fivefold. In many respects, this was due to the introduction of WHO recommendations in the country. They expand the indications for the administration of ART therapy and seek to cover the treatment of all diagnosed patients. The indicators of adherence to treatment in the country improve every year. There is a wider range of medicines, which allows to lower the number of pills, the frequency of taking medications and to reduce side effects.

In vulnerable groups, such as drug users and sex workers, there are many everyday worries about finding a livelihood. It is harder for them to continue the treatment because of their life conditions. The evaluation of the effectiveness of treatment is carried out twice a year in accordance with the viral load indicators. Doctors interview their patients, look at the regularity of receiving medicines, remnants of medicines, and the general condition of patients. I know that I need to take medicines.

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Their job is basically to give out the medicine. I was tested for viral load in April, but I still have not received the results. At the beginning of this year there were difficulties with the purchase of test systems in Kyrgyzstan, the deputy director of the Republican AIDS Centre is saying. Therefore, the examination for viral load in the first quarter of the year was practically not carried out.

Until , there was only one laboratory in the country where the viral load was determined. Nowadays there are two such laboratories. In Kyrgyzstan, they always work on the patient adherence to treatment. ART is purchased from the Global Fund. On the state budget, drugs are purchased for the treatment of opportunistic infections.

The head of AFEW -Kyrgyzstan Natalya Shumskaya is telling what we should expect from the organisation in , and outlines the achievements of the previous year. What do you think were your greatest successes?

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We managed to keep our activities on HIV prevention in the prison system, including law enforcement, prevention of HIV among women who use drugs. During the last year, women received an access to health and social services. Later, we started a very difficult project with the aim to return the patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis MDR-TB to the treatment. There was organized controlled treatment at home for 28 patients.

The delivery of products is done 6 days a week, except Sundays. Additionally, project case managers conduct information sessions with patients with MDR-TB and their inner social circle, monitor the side effects of anti-TB drugs, and, if necessary, deliver drugs to relieve the side effects. They also maintain regular contact with doctors.

In January of we increased project staff. It was done for the full coverage of all MDR-TB patients who need to receive treatment at home and assisting them to diagnosis and friendly services. Two case managers and a social worker were hired. Over the past year, the researchers conducted a qualitative study among the inmates of correctional facilities that are getting ready to be released. This study aims to describe and research the quality of the program of methadone substitution treatment in the penitentiary system of Kyrgyzstan and civil society.

The recommendations based on those results will be offered to the country to optimize harm reduction programs. Please tell us, how is this cooperation going? What is the role of AFEW in it? In our organization has provided technical support to the Ministry in carrying out monitoring visits to all the regions of the country. The aim of the visits was to control how the law enforcement officers perform the instruction on HIV prevention.

In addition, we organized and conducted four trainings for the staff responsible for the official trainings and for non-governmental organizations on the reform of law enforcement agencies. It is important that the civil sector supports current reforms, and it is important that law enforcement officers assist the execution of the State Programme on HIV. AFEW is also working with the penitentiary system of the country for more than 10 years.

We work together in three areas: technical assistance and coordination, increasing the capacity of staff and providing direct services to prisoners. In we worked first in six and then in four institutions to promote the goal We actively worked with people living with HIV at the stages of realising of the diagnosis, preparation for therapy, start of therapy, development of adherence to treatment. One of the achievements, of course, is to extend the work on the colony-settlements.

Before, prisoners there fell of HIV prevention services, as there are no medical units there, and they usually have no documents for getting help from the civilian health organizations. Please, tell us what these groups are and why their teamwork is so important? How is this cooperation going now? Cooperation can help to overcome barriers and build partnerships. The leaders of key groups started to work closer. Since last year, we have been inviting all the participants of memorandum for the event and, of course, they also invite us for their events. Tell us more about it. What are other areas of your work with the CCC?

We want to involve civil society in the discussion on the reform of CCC, and we also want to increase the capacity of the Committee. The following groups will take part in the seminar: members of the Committee for the preparation of applications for resource mobilization and harmonization of CCC; CCC board; members of the Advisory Working Group, which were included by the Kyrgyz Ministry of Health; national experts who work on the preparation of the request for continued funding who will directly collect information and write application; international consultant; head of the expert working group on writing requests for funding, and also key partners from the public and international sectors which may influence decisions and who expressed their readiness to provide technical assistance in the preparation of high-quality country request to the state financing from Kyrgyzstan.

During the workshop, participants will act as experts and will share their knowledge and experience with each another. They will also learn how to fill the forms for the requests, will learn the new priority areas of TB and HIV, which are included in national policies and programs, will discuss and analyse the share of public funding, make mapping of the services, clients and funding. Actually, the main purpose of this seminar is to assist the CCC, experts and other stakeholders in the preparation of high-quality application.

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We want everyone to have one vision and one structure of the request, so that the process of approval of the CCC members is efficient and fast. The most important achievement is that we were able to successfully implement its first strategic plan and to develop partnerships with international and donor organizations. In we will review the strategic plan of the organization.

Of course, the priority for the board of the organization has been and continues to be ensuring of the stability of the organization. The girl is sitting on the floor and is listening to the music. She is switching between the songs, watching videos, and trying to find her favourite track. There are four beds in a small room. I will feed it with milk.

When the girl is smiling, she has cute dimples on her cheeks. She brings a toy — plastic alphabet with the buttons. She presses the letters and repeats them. Sometimes she gets the letters wrong, and then the mother asks her to do it again. Sofia and her forty-year-old mother Leila live in the hostel that operates in the centre of adaptation and socialization of women — injecting drug users in the public fund Asteria in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Leila was recently released from prison.

Recently I went to Turkey, and wanted to find a job there, but I do not know Turkish language, and that is why it did not happen. By education, I am a seamstress and a pastry chef, but it is hard to find a job because I am HIV-positive. The timing seems to be rather arbitrary, but after being taken off the toilets, the older babies are put into a very large playpen where they crawl and walk and play.

Belek will stubbornly walk around and around the edge do matter how many times he falls, Diana will crawl over anyone in her path, Vova rolls all around, Arsin lies quietly and smiles, Violeta does anything she can to move around, and Isin is oblivious to everything. The babies pay more attention to each other than babies usually do.

One day Arsin and Vova ended up in the same corner and laughed and laughed with each other. The younger babies are laid down in a different playpen after they eat. They roll around sometimes and play. I can get them all laughing and can touch two of them at the same time. The nurses are very strict about the babies wearing plenty of clothes, even when it was 95 degrees outside. This is basically their day. They eat, sleep, and are left alone to play. They have never been rocked to sleep, given a bath, read to, or eaten a cracker.

Just touching them seems to calm them more than anything. Each baby has all the basics- except someone, anyone, to think she is the most important child in the world. Certainly they are loved. The nurses take good care of them; some are excellent. I wish there were more I could do for them, but I think the little I am able to do helps. It brought back all the memories of the summer I spent at a baby orphanage in Romania. The kids used to love it when I would sing primary songs with them—especially the ones with fun body movements and hand gestures.

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Oh, my heart just aches for them, and for all your babies. God bless you for all that you are doing. And may angels always accompany you to the baby house. Thank you, Erica, for sharing this with us. I admire your way of describing it all. Factual, but much left to interpretation and imagination. At the same time, I appreciate you also point out positive things. Also, again, thank you so much for your wonderful posts that gave Times and Seasons a truly international perspective.

The only time was on Christmas day But I have often had very similar feelings when visiting nursing homes. So many virtually helpless people, and so much good that needed doing, but so few people to do it. The State Department website has no information about adopting from Kyrgyzstan. The adoptions that I am aware of are by missionaries or volunteers living in Bishkek. They have gone through a local social worker.

She speaks English well and wants to get these children into good homes. Frank Foundation www. Find out how many adoptions they have actually completely from Kyrgyzstan and check into their required fees. You would probably need to make two trips to Kyrgyzstan, one to choose the child you want to adopt and get the process started, and another to pick them up and go to court and to the embassy in Kazakhstan, the nearest US embassy that processes adoptions. I understand that adoption from those countries has become increasingly difficult, not to speak of the financial gain some instances try to make of it, even the official ones.

To make things worse, I heard anti-Mormon propaganda is spreading horror stories of what happens to children adopted in those households in the Mormon West. They have an international section. I heard a mother on the news the other night who had recently adopted a teenager from Haiti who had lost both of his legs, but had the blessing of receiving two prostheses by the hand of her husband who had been visiting on a doctors abroad type mission which of course lead to the adoption.

At the conclusion of this interview, this women who my wife guesses is LDS. We live in MN, so my money says they are Lutheran said that their family is now complete with the arrival of this member. As a father, I understand this woman. Even though and I am in no way bragging we have adopted a nephew, had two of our own, and are in the process of adopting a 2nd nephew, I can tell you that my family still does not feel complete.

I look forward to the day that we can add more of these little ones to our family as we look for that point of completion. Thanks for your comments, Chance. I do think adoption is a good way to create a family, and one that is too often overlooked except in cases of infertility. Kazakhstan has allowed international adoptions for a long time, but it has recently become more difficult as judges in different areas apply laws differently and as the media has become increasingly negative. The financial gain is a big problem. Many parents end up bribing various government officials to be able to complete their adoptions.

A careful couple should be able to avoid corrupt agencies though by doing plenty of research and using an agency with an excellent reputation. Maybe they are great in Russia or Kazakhstan, but in-country experience is necessary. Kyrgyzstan really is a little harder to adopt from because it is almost impossible to find out what the laws actually are and there is very little precedent to be able to predict what might happen here. The best thing though is that I feel that the baby house administrators want these children adopted. Erica, thank you very, very much for this look into a part of the world few of us hear about much less visit.

Your posts have been excellent. Still, the staff seemed so grateful for us. It was one of the few things I did on my mission that I look back on as a true, unprideful, unambiguous, Christian good.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Erica, and prompting some good but bittersweet memories of my own. Bryce, you should have warned everyone that she has some seriously cute pictures of babies posted there. My husband and I are considering adoption in Kyrgyzstan. Any comments about agencies in the U. Julie is right, you guys. Brace yourselves. Amira, wonderful post. I am smiling and crying. And feeling so helpless. Hi, my husband and I are considering adopting from Kyrgyzstan, and in my research on the web, I stumbled upon these postings!

I am happy to have found these postings, because there is little information on Kyrg adoption. My husband and I are currently in a holding pattern for adopting from Kazakhstan, we started the process 10 months ago, and are in a holding pattern because of the new Kaz regulations. So that is why we are considering switching to Kyrg. Like Kim, I would like information about adopting from Kyrg.

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Also, I am new to these types of postings on a website. Who is Erica, and is she in Kyrg trying to adopt right now? How do I get to see the photos that everyone is talking about?

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