ILO/USDOL HIV/AIDS Workplace Education Programme in the Moscow Region

The first meeting of the Moscow region Project Advisory Board of the HIV/AIDS Workplace Education Programme was held today at the Moscow Region Administration premises.

News | 07 April 2005
HIV/AIDS Workplace Education Programme is financed by the US Department of Labor and implemented by the International Labour Organization in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Development of the RF and the social partners: the Coordinating Council of the Employers Unions of Russia, Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia, All-Russian Labour Confederation and Confederation of Labour of Russia. The Moscow region is one of the pilot regions together with the Murmansk region. The project aims to contribute to the prevention of HIV/AIDS in the world of work, the enhancement of workplace protection and the reduction of its adverse consequences on social, labour and economic development.

In the Moscow region a number of pilot enterprises from different sectors will be assisted in developing non-discriminatory HIV/AIDS policies. Their workers will be motivated to change their behavior in order to decrease the risk of HIV infection, and not to stigmatize workers living with HIV/AIDS. This new policy and behavior change education model, adapted to the specific conditions of Russia, may in the future be replicated in other regions of the country, as well as in other CIS states.

In Russia the growth rate of identifiable HIV cases is now one of the world’s fastest: in 2003 the HIV incidence increased almost 40 times as compared to 1997. It is estimated that under any possible scenario of demographic development, Russia could not avoid a considerable decrease and ageing of the workforce, even without taking into account the epidemics of socially harmful diseases. The spread of HIV/AIDS is aggravating the mortality forecasts, since most of those infected are young people in their productive age (80% in the 15 to 29 age group).

The Moscow region is ranking first among the regions of the RF by the number of registered persons leaving with HIV/AIDS (over 26,000), and it is number ten by HIV prevalence, which places it among the top ten regions the most affected by the epidemic.

The majority of newly registered cases of infection occur in urban industrial areas. In 2004 the Moscow region had the biggest number of new infections (3,823) in the Russian Federation. It should be noted that the share of heterosexual mode of transmission continues to grow, which points to a particular trend in the epidemic.

Based on the results of consultations with the representatives of the tripartite partners in the Moscow region the following should be noted. Partners in the Chief Directorate on Labour and Social Issues and the Ministry of Health of the Moscow region underlie that HIV infection is a social issue, which requires attention by all groups of the society. The Moscow region government has an effective mechanism to deal with HIV/AIDS and the workplace issues – the Regional Tripartite Agreement.

The meeting was chaired by Sergey N. Koshman, Deputy Chief of the Moscow Region Government. In his speech Mr. Koshman defined key priorities and objectives for project participants. He also noted that cooperation and collaboration with social partners are key factors of success of the project.

Social partners expressed their full support of the project. Valentina V. Kabanova, Chair of the Moscow Regional Councils’ Union, stressed the necessity to provide access to project materials to the local unions representatives. Valery P. Kulikov, General Director of the Executive Directorate of the Moscow Region Council of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, expressed certitude that employers will make an adequate contribution towards achievement of project objectives.