MSM – Men who have sex with men
Foundation “Blago” began preventing the spread of HIV / STD / Viral Hepatitis among men who have sex with men (MSM) in 2009.
The main goal – to reduce the rate of spread of socially dangerous diseases among MSM.
Social worker of this direction are MSM themselves, that allows to embody the principles of “peer to peer” and “nothing about us without us.” In work involved medical professionals, psychologists and lawyers. Mobile Ambulance clinic makes regular visits to places of mass presence of the target group.
Stigma society and the failure of gay people, as well as harassment by the police leads to the formation of marginal behaviors of MSM. They do not reveal their sexual identity and represent very closed group.
Nevertheless it, the staff was able to create a system of confidential contacts and thereby expand the client base of MSM-direction. Preventive work to reduce the level of risk behavior of MSM, which led to a decrease in new cases of HIV / STD / Viral Hepatitis among this target group.
How do we work with MSM?
Foundation staff talk about the preventive measures and give to MSM-customers personal protection sets (condoms, lubricant gel, disinfectants). After consulting, social workers offer for MSM clients to take fast pass testing. Free procedure allows within minutes to find out if there are antibodies, which are produced in the presence of HIV / STD / Viral Hepatitis. If the test is positive, a social worker directs the client to the AIDS center or Dermatovenerologic dispensary №5. By necessity MSM client may get referrals to specialized doctors (dermatologist, psychologists, lawyers, urologist).
In addition to the distribution of prophylactics and information materials, assisting in obtaining medical services, foundation staff provide training whose main task is to inform customers about the dangers of risky behavior.
Where do we work with MSM?
The main activity of the MSM direction is consulting clients, which is held on the basis of Community center “Orion” and outreach routes. Social workers engage in three types of outreach: Street (pleshki), club (nightclubs) and housing. The latter type involves a mini-training that are aimed at informing about the routes of transmission and methods of precaution.
In this direction Mobile Ambulance clinic is active. Clients can receive medical and social support, receive handouts and take tests on its base.
Full range of services MSM clients can get in the community center “Orion” (Artema str., 15). Center-based social workers provide training aimed at preventing diseases and addictions. The atmosphere of “Orion” allows clients to relax, talk to a psychologist, have a cup of tea or coffee and surf the Internet.